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What's In a Name...on the Outer Banks

What's In a Name...on the Outer Banks

One of the hardest parts of my job is finding something that I feel (hope, pray) others might find interesting to read about. Not easy. But here we go… digging into how some of the towns along the Outer Banks got their names and some other facts. We will start with my town…Kill Devil Hills According to the US Census, Kill Devil Hills has total area of 5.5 miles. As of 2010 there were approx 6,680 people living here. It is the most populated town on the OBX.

The name dates back to Colonial times. Back then, shipwrecks were a common occurrence along the beach and many of these ships carried barrels of rum. When a ship started to sink, the local wreckers set out to scavenge what they could before it went under. These scavengers often hid their stolen rum behind the large sand dunes in Kill Devil Hills.

At the time, rum was known as “Kill Devil” by the English, these dunes became known as Kill Devil Hills.

Fun Stuff: There is a song named “Kill Devil Hill” on the album Tyranny of Souls. This is from 2005 and features Iron Man frontman Bruce Dickinson. It is about the Wright Brothers flight.

Dennis Anderson, owner and driver of the Grave Digger monster truck, makes his home in KDH.

March 2011, bass guitarist Rex Brown and drummer Vinny Appice formed a new band called Kill Devil Hills.

KDH is located in the near geographic center of our northern beaches and is the largest municipality in Dare County. The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located here. KDH is home to the Outer Banks Daredevils Baseball Team.

Three of our schools are here…First Flight Elementary and First Flight Middle School…and First Flight High School. The high school is the newest one…it opened in August of 2004. Before then our high school students went to Manteo High School.

There are some unique, family owned shops in Kill Devil Hills…and many stay open all year. We do have a McDonald’s and a 7-11 and several drug stores. But we have excellent restaurants here that are popular with locals and visitors alike.

Most residents live on the “other side” of the island…the sound side. The oceanfront homes are most often rental homes…and stay booked throughout the summer months.

Things used to almost shut down after Labor Day in years past but no more…the weather is so nice and rates are much lower in the fall months so more and more visitors take their vacations here then.

Wildlife here…fox, deer, turtles, snakes, turtles, birds, frogs…bunnies and of course dolphin and fish.

The official website for the town is If you want even more information visit the Facebook page at

I have lived here for 40+ years. It is home. It is small town with a twist…since we gain so many people in the summer. I love it.

Until Next Time,
Your Outer Banks Blogger