Daily Archives: October 16, 2019

The Tates And The Wright Brothers

One of the Facebook pages I follow features vintage photos of the Outer Banks.  It’s amazing to see just how much that area has changed over the years. But I suppose that’s the case in just about any location.

This past week, the following pictures were shared on that page.  Since the photos are public, I was assured that it would be okay for me to include them in today’s blog post.

The photos were shared by Kaylynn Curling, who currently lives about an hour from the Outer Banks. It seems that her ancestors were of great help to the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk.

Here’s a quick explanation from Kaylynn that was included with the Facebook post:

“My 5x great uncle was William James Tate, who was the old postmaster of Kitty Hawk. The Wright brothers originally wrote to the weather station asking about weather and wind conditions, and one of the men that worked there ended up giving my uncle the message. Uncle Tate was the one that would correspond back and forth with Wilbur Wright.

In 1900 Wilbur showed up and had no where to stay, so my uncle let him stay with them. Orville showed up two weeks later and then they stayed in a tent outside of my uncle’s property. My uncle was married to Addie Sibbern, and she loaned her sewing machine to the brothers so they could work on the wings for their glider.

James Tate was the Currituck lighthouse keeper. His brother Daniel Tate, which is my 4x great-grandfather, would stop by to help occasionally. Daniel Tate was Tommy Tate’s dad and that is the picture you guys had up of the little boy who caught fish for the Wright brothers.”

And here are some of the photos:

Bill Tate and family (including wife, Addie, seated) at the Kitty Hawk post office. For those of you not familiar with the area, Kitty Hawk is a town located within the Outer Banks.


The caption for this next photo is:  “In October, 1900, the Wright Brothers sent 10-year-old Tom Tate up on their glider as they flew it like a kite. Later, just before returning home, Wilbur made about a dozen free flights.” Tom was Kaylynn Curling’s third great grandfather.

Young Tom near a shed at the Wright Brothers camp:

And this picture shows the Tates many years later with the treadle sewing machine used by the Wright Brothers to sew the canvas for their glider.

Motor Man and I have visited the Wright Brothers Memorial in the Outer Banks a few times, including during the First Flight Centennial Celebration in 2003. As the saying goes: “if you’re ever in the area…”.

I found these photos to be so very interesting. How gracious of the family to share them.

~These Days Of Mine~