Wilbur preceded Orville in making the journey to Kitty Hawk in 1900. Indeed, when he left, it was not clear his brother would be able to join him. After making a harrowing trip across Albemarle Sound in the vermin-infested schooner of Israel Perry, Wilbur arrived at Kitty Hawk on September 13. He stayed at the home of Mr. William J. Tate, the friendly and forward-looking postmaster of the place.
At the time, Kitty Hawk was a small fishing village located in a remote and desolate area. The inhabitants were poor, isolated, and amazed by the two 'foreigners' who always wore fresh celluloid collars in the hot clime, and were skeptical of their desire to build a flying machine. But Kitty Hawk had two things the Wrights needed: wind and sand.
Joined by Orville on September 28, the two brothers continued to stay with the Tates. They erected a small tent, and moved to their simple camp on October 4.
The photographic legacy of 1900 is as rich in its depiction of Kitty Hawk and its environs as it is impoverished in recording the brothers' efforts to develop their glider. 22 photographs were taken of the village, the area, the ocean, and the people. The glider appears in only four photographs, one where it is in the background.