The first English attempts at colonization in the New World (1585-1587) are commemorated here. These efforts, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, ended with the disappearance of 116 men, women and children (including two that were born in the New World). The fate of this "lost colony" remains a mystery to this day. The Park was established in 1941, and enlarged in 1990 by Public Law 1001-603 to include the preservation of Native American culture, The American Civil War, the Freedman's Colony, and the activities of radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden. The park is also home to the outdoor symphonic drama THE LOST COLONY, performed in the Waterside Theatre during the summer since 1937. The park is 513 acres in size.