The Coastland Times – originally The Dare County Times – began in 1935 and was first published by D. Victor Meekins and his wife, Catherine Deaton Meekins, of Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Victor had previously worked at The Independent of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and Catherine came from a newspaper-publishing family in Mooresville, North Carolina. Over the years, various other sister publications were produced to serve the area and eventually were combined to form what is now known as The Coastland Times.
Victor and Catherine’s children, Roger, Francis and Mary Blanche, were involved with the newspaper in its early days. Francis took over publishing duties from his parents and, together with his wife, children and grandchildren, continued in that capacity until health issues forced his retirement in 2005. Francis’ son, Warren Meekins, and daughter, Susan Simpson, continued publishing the newspaper until it was sold to BNI affiliate Outer Banks Newsmedia in December 2017.
The Coastland Times is published twice-weekly, with a paid circulation of 5,000 copies. It serves the people of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, one of the country’s most popular seaside vacation destinations, which is composed of Dare, Currituck, Hyde and Tyrrell counties.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a string of barrier islands that stretch 120 miles from the Virginia border south to Ocrakoke Island. Visited by over five million tourists annually, the Outer Banks saw Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first successful flight in 1903 and is home to The Lost Colony, America’s oldest outdoor drama.
Other attractions include the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, four national wildlife refuges (Alligator River, Pea Island, Currituck, and Mackay Island) and Jockey’s Ridge State Park. The Outer Banks are comprised of four North Carolina counties, Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell.
Located along a strip of barrier islands on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in northeastern North Carolina, the heart of the Outer Banks in Dare County is 200 miles due east from the state capitol of Raleigh and 80 miles south of the metropolitan Hampton Roads region in Virginia.
Dare County: 35,663
Currituck County: 25,263
Hyde County: 5,526
Tyrrell County: 4,070
The Outer Banks have four distinct seasons with generally mild winters and hot summers. Ice and snow are possible during the winter, but not frequent. Summer-like weather usually begins in May and extends into September. Summer days can be hot and humid, with frequent rain and thunderstorms.