Weird History

Inside The Small Island Off The Coast Of Virginia Where Residents Speak Like Colonial Settlers

Located roughly a dozen miles off the coast of Virginia in the Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Island is one of many isolated US cities with a deep-rooted culture. Accessible only by boat, Tangier, VA, is mostly cut off from the outside world. The community on Tangier Island embraces its insularity by actively excluding influences that could disrupt the residents' unique way of life.

Tangier Island's history factors heavily into its distinct character - especially the heavy Tangier dialect that has developed as a result of the secluded culture. The vernacular is almost incomprehensible to outsiders, as it includes words that date back centuries. In addition, the islanders' tonal pronunciation reveals Tangier's colonial connections.

With environmental perils looming, the language and traditions on Tangier Island may soon vanish, eliminating this fascinating link to America's past.