Technically speaking, when lowly noders such as myself attempt to view Node Number One, what we are really seeing is node 104, the Permission Denied superdoc. This is the case with lion's share of the first several hundred nodes. The first user-viewable node (other than , of course) is 83, nate's Noisy Sunset. The next few are 84, 96, 98, 104, and everyone's favorite, The Default Node.

After a rather exhausting search, the following facts have come to light:

The first surviving write-up is (you guessed it) nate's Brian Eno, node 10156. All nodes of lower number are either administrative nodes (e.g. superdocs, system nodelets, etc.) or homenodes of E1 users. A short discussion of the former can be found in What's in Node Number One?. As for the latter, they're sprinkled from nate's at 220, through dem bones' at 282, all the way to the last user to join before the switch to E2:

Node ID 10155, user Snord, assimilated 12:01:21 UTC, November 12, 1999, contributed but a single write-up. A moment of silence, please.

The last surviving pre-E2 node here is probably number 165503, locoluis's Temuco, but Snord's is the last node with a surviving write-up from before E2's arrival.

Finally, we come to Everything 2's very first write-up! At node ID 165407, we have clampe's empty w/u in Westminster Dog Show. The node itself is 165406. There you have it, folks.

Update 5/23/01: clampe's writeup has been (deservedly) nuked, thrusting knifegirl's in first time disoriented into the number one spot. 165409.
Update 3/17/04: first time disoriented has been nuked entirely, and optimisation is now empty. New last E1 writeup: locoluis's Marcelo Salas (165387). New first E2 writeup: Shanoyu's The Federalist Papers (165447).