Image from the 1970 book, Coast watch, published by the UNC Sea Grant College Program.
An excerpt appearing near this photo:
“One of the first mentions of horses is by Capt. Samuel Stephens, who claimed Roanoke Island for his livestock in 1663. Before then, more cows, sheep, horses, goats and pigs roamed the northern Outer Banks than people. Settlers used the islands to corral their stock, taking advantage of the sound and sea’s natural boundaries and ample vegetation. From the 1660s to the 1930s, the Outer Banks was cattle country. In 1934, the N.C. General Assembly outlawed open grazing, and the taste of the Wild West in the East faded. But the horses remained free and feral. Because it is believed these horses were once domesticated, we call them feral, not wild.”