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Historic Light Station Information
& Photography

NORTH CAROLINA


BALD HEAD "OLD BALDY" LIGHT

Location: BALD HEAD ISLAND/CAPE FEAR RIVER
Station Established: 1789
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1817
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1930
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL
Height:    110-feet
Markings/Pattern: MOTTLED STUCCO/PLASTER
Characteristics:   
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: 15 LAMPS & REFLECTORS 1851
Foghorn: None

Historical Information:

  • On December 14, 1790, the State of North Carolina ceded to the United States 10 acres of land on Cape Fear Island, in response to the invitation held out by the act of August 7, 1789, for the States to make cessions to the Federal Government of "lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers, and lots of land for lighthouses, etc."
  • On April 2, 1792, Congress appropriated $4,000 and provided "that the Secretary of the Treasury, under the direction of the President of the United States, be authorized, as soon as may be, to cause to be finished in such manner as shall appear advisable, the lighthouse heretofore begun under the authority of the State of North Carolina, on Bald Head, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River in said State." Three further appropriations totaling $7,359.14 were made between 1793 and 1797 and the light was completed and first shone in 1796.  Between 1813 and 1817, $16,000 was appropriated "for rebuilding Bald Head Lighthouse."
  • On July 1, 1834, Capt. Henry D. Hunter of the revenue cutter Taney inspected Bald Head Light which he described as having 15 lamps, 109 feet above the level of the sea, showing a fixed light. Two years later he again inspected the light. "The keeper is an old revolutionary soldier," he reported "and is unable from sickness to give the lighthouse his constant personal attention. The light, however, shows well from a distance."
  • A Jones fog bell was placed near Bald Head Lighthouse in 1855. In the same year the Lighthouse Board recommended the substitution of "a third-order lens, larger model, 3600 for the present apparatus." It also recommended a fixed light, light, varied by flashes "to distinguish this light, under all circumstances, from Federal Point Light."
  • The range lights on the upper jetty of Cape Fear River, which had been installed in 1856, "were extinguished by the rebels in 1861, and the structures entirely destroyed."
  • In 1866 Bald Head Light was discontinued after a new lighthouse had been built at the mouth of the Cape Fear River to replace Federal Point Light. In 1880, however, Federal Point Light had been rendered useless and was discontinued because of the closing of the New Inlet Channel by the Engineer Department. Bald Head Light was relighted at that time and, together with a small stake light on the beach in front of it, served as a guide through the 16- to 18-foot Oak Island Channel across the bar.
  • The shore on the inside was reported in 1881 as being "rapidly abraded by the action of the sea, which is doubtless increased by the augmented flow of water through Oak Island Channel due to the closing of New Inlet." In the following year it was noted, "Some means of protection must soon be used, or the lighthouse will be destroyed." In August 1883 a stone jetty, 150 feet long, was authorized for the protection of the foundation of the tower. This work was completed, in time probably, to save the tower from destruction in the hurricane of September 1883. In 1885 the jetty was extended another 50 feet.
  • In 1889 the Lighthouse Board reported that the shoals forming the continuation of Cape Fear for about 18 miles to the southeast were dreaded by ship masters only a little less than those at Cape Hatteras. The lightship, near the outer extremity of the shoals, warned vessels of danger and gave them a good point of departure, but was not sufficient to insure adequate protection because of the small area lighted by it, and its liability to being set adrift from its moorings during violent storms, at the very time it was most needed. The Cape Fear Light (Bald Head), on account of its inland position and want of height, did not cover the shoals and therefore did not give sufficient warning to vessels in case the lightship should drift from her moorings. The Board, therefore, recommended a first-order lighthouse, with a radius of 18 1/2 miles of light, about 150 feet high and costing $150,000 to be built on the pitch of Cape Fear.
  • This recommendation was made each year thereafter until 1897, the estimate being revised downward to $70,000 in 1893. On July 1, 1898, Congress appropriated $35,000 for the new lighthouse, with authority to contract for another $35,000, followed by an appropriation for a similar amount on March 3, 1901. A new skeleton tower was completed in 1903 on Smith Island and furnished with a first-order flashing lens apparatus.
  • Upon completion of the new Cape Fear Light the old Cape Fear Station (Bald Head) was changed to a fourth-order fixed light and its name changed to Bald Head Light Station. The station was discontinued in 1935. A radiobeacon was established on the site in 1941.

Photographs:  

BALD HEAD LIGHT


BODIE ISLAND LIGHT

Location: 4 MILES NORTH OF OREGON INLET
Station Established: 1847; 1859 & 1871 (restored)
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1872
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1954
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: TIMBER/GRANITE/RUBBLE
Construction Materials: BRICK/CAST IRON/STONE
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Height:    165-feet originally, 156-feet (existing third lighthouse)
Markings/Pattern: WHITE & BLACK BANDS W/BLACK LANTERN
Characteristics:    White 2.5 seconds on, 2.5 seconds off, 2.5 seconds on, and 22.5 seconds eclipse with 2 cycles each minute.
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL 1872
Foghorn:    None

Historical Information:

  • 1847: The contractor on the first project was Mr. Francis Gibbons, of Baltimore, who would later become a prominent lighthouse builder on the West Coast. Cost was $5,000.00 but problems with location and design of the tower caused a ten-year delay in construction. The tower was highly unstable and soon after it was completed, it began to lean toward the sea.
  • 1859: By 1859, the Bodie Island Lighthouse was deteriorated and the Lighthouse Board secured a $25,000. Appropriation from Congress to erect a new tower. This new tower was 80 ft and its lantern was a third-order Fresnel lens.
  • 1861: In the fall of 1861, Confederate troops stacked explosives inside the tower and blew it apart.
  • 1871: A third Lighthouse was completed in 1871 with material left over from construction of a new tower at Cape Hatteras. Tower was 156 ft with a first-order Fresnel lens that made its light visible from 19 miles at sea. The Bodie tower is painted with white and black horizontal bands.

Photographs:  

BODIE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


CAPE HATTERAS LIGHT

Location: N. OF CAPE HATTERAS POINT/OUTER BANKS
Station Established: 1803
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1870
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1936
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: GRANITE/TIMBER/RUBBLE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL W/BLACK LANTERN
Markings/Pattern: WHITE AND BLACK SPIRAL/RED BRICK BASE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL 1870

Historical Information:

  • On July 10, 1797, Congress appropriated $44,000 "for erecting a lighthouse on the head land of Cape Hatteras and a lighted beacon on Shell Castle Island, in the harbor of Ocracoke in the State of North Carolina."  The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse cost $14,302 to build and the Shell Castle Island Lighthouse was built from part of the surplus.  Both were completed in 1803.

  • The Cape Hatteras light marked very dangerous shoals which extend from the cape for a distance of 10 nautical miles. The original tower was built of dark sandstone and retained its natural color. The original light consisted of 18 lamps; with 14-inch reflectors, and was 112 feet above sea level. It was visible in clear weather for a distance of 18 miles.
  • In July 1851, Lt. David D. Porter, USN, reported as follows:
  • "Hatteras light, the most important on our coast is, without doubt, the worst light in the world. Cape Hatteras is the point made by all vessels going to the south, and also coming from that direction; the current of the Gulf Stream runs so close to the outer point of the shoals that vessels double as close round the breakers as possible, to avoid its influence. The only guide they have is the light, to tell them when up with the shoals; but I have always had so little confidence in it, that I have been guided by the lead, without the use of which, in fact, no vessel should pass Hatteras. The first nine trips I made I never saw Hatteras light at all, though frequently passing in sight of the breakers, and when I did see it, I could not tell it from a steamer’s light, excepting that the steamer’s lights are much brighter. It has improved much latterly, but is still a wretched light. It is all important that Hatteras should be provided with a revolving light of great intensity, and that the light be raised 15 feet higher than at present. Twenty-four steamship’s lights, of great brilliancy, pass this point in one month, nearly at the rate of one every night (they all pass at night) and it can be seen how easily a vessel may be deceived by taking a steamer’s light for a light on shore."
  • The improvement in the light referred to had begun in 1845 when the reflectors were changed from 14 to 15 inch. In 1848 the 18 lamps were changed to 15 lamps with 21-inch reflectors and the light had become visible in clear weather at a distance of 20 miles. In 1854 a first-order Fresnel lens with flashing white light was substituted for the old reflecting apparatus, and the tower was raised to 150 feet.
  • In 1860 the Lighthouse Board reported that Cape Hatteras Lighthouse required protection, due to the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1862 the Board reported "Cape Hatteras, lens and lantern destroyed, light reexhibited."
  • Between 1867 and 1870 Congress appropriated $167,000 in three annual sums, for rebuilding Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The new tower, from which the first-order light was first exhibited December 16, 1871, was the highest brick lighthouse tower in the world. It was 193 feet above ground and the focal height of the light 191 feet above water. The old tower "being no longer of any use and in danger of falling during some heavy storm" was blown up and totally destroyed in February 1872.
  • In the spring of 1879 the tower was struck by lightning. Cracks subsequently appeared in the masonry walls, which was remedied by placing a metal rod to connect the iron work of the tower with an iron disk sunk in the ground. In 1912 the candlepower of the light was increased from 27,000 to 80,000.
  • Ever since the completion of the new tower in 1870, there had begun a very gradual encroachment of the sea upon the beach. This did not become serious, however, until 1919, when the high water line had advanced to about 300 feet from the base of the tower. Since that time the surf had gnawed steadily toward the base of the tower until in 1935, the site was finally reached by the surf. Several attempts were made to arrest this erosion, but dikes and breakwaters had been of no avail. In 1935, therefore, the tower light was replaced by a light on a skeleton steel tower placed farther back from the sea on a sand dune, 166 feet above the sea, and visible for 19 miles. The old tower was then abandoned to the custody of the National Park Service.
  • The Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration erected a series of wooden revetments which checked the wash that was carrying away the beach. In 1942 the Coast Guard reassumed its control over the tower and manned it as a lookout station until 1945. The old tower was now 500 to 900 feet inland from the sea and again tenable as a site for the light which was placed in commission January 23, 1950.
  • The new light consists of a 36-inch aviation-type rotating beacon of 250,000 candlepower, visible 20 miles, and flashing white every 15 seconds. The skeleton steel tower has been retained to guard against the time that the brick tower may again be endangered by erosion and thus require that the light again be moved.
  • The National Park Service acquired ownership of the lighthouse when it was abandoned in1935. In 1950, when the structure was again found safe for use, new lighting equipment was installed. Now the Coast Guard owns and operates the navigational equipment, while the National Park Service maintains the tower as a historic structure. The Hatteras Island Visitor Center, formerly the Double Keepers Quarters located next to the lighthouse, elaborates on the Cape Hatteras story and man's lifestyle on the Outer Banks. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, tallest in the United States, stands 208 feet from the bottom of the foundation to the peak of the roof. To reach the light which shines 191 feet above mean high water mark, a Coast Guardsman must climb 268 steps. There were approximately 1,250,000 bricks used in its construction.

Photographs:  

CAPE HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE


CAPE LOOKOUT LIGHT

Location: CORE BANKS/CAPE LOOKOUT NS
Station Established: 1812
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1859
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1950
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: WOOD PILINGS/DRESSED STONE
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: B/W DIAGONALLY CHECKERED W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL 1859

Historical Information:

  • The Cape Lookout Lighthouse was completed in 1812 at a cost of $20,678.54 and had one wooden and one brick tower.
  • The station was described in 1850, when William Fulford was keeper, as having 13 lamps, new lighting apparatus having been installed in 1848. The keeper was obliged, in 1850, to keep wheeling away sand from the front side of the keeper’s dwelling to prevent the sand from covering it up. "The sand banks," the report reads, "are now higher than the tops of the windows; and only a few feet from them, at high water mark. On the sea side, it has washed away about 100 feet last year by abrasion and sea flows."
  • In 1851 Cape Lookout Lighthouse was reported as one of nine coast lights "which require to be improved.  The towers of each of them should have an elevation of 150 feet above the level of the sea and should be fitted up in the best manner with first-order lens apparatus, to insure a brilliancy and range adequate to the wants of commerce. These lights are not sufficiently well distinguished, but a general plan for all the seacoast lights will best accomplish this object."
  • On March 3, 1857, Congress appropriated $45,000 "for rebuilding and fitting out with first-order apparatus the lighthouse at Cape Lookout, North Carolina." The new lighthouse was completed and first lighted on November 1, 1859.  During the Civil War, in 1862, the tower was damaged and the lens, etc., removed, but by 1863 the lighthouse had been refitted and the light reexhibited. A third-order lens was placed in use temporarily until the first-order lens, "injured by the rebels" could be repaired and restored in 1867.
  • The lighthouse is now a black and white diagonally checkered tower, 169 feet above ground and 156 feet above feet water and shows a group flashing white electric light every 15 seconds of 80,000 candlepower, visible 19 miles, from a first-order lens.

Photographs:  

CAPE LOOKOUT LIGHTHOUSE


CROATAN SHOAL LIGHT

Location: IN 8 FEET OF WATER, ON THE NORTHEASTERLY SIDE OF THE CHANNEL BETWEEN CROATAN AND ALBEMARLE SOUNDS
Station Established: 1835
Year Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1887
Operational: No
Automated: ?
Deactivated: ?
Tower Shape / Markings / Pattern: White square screw-pile structure, with green shutters; piles and roof, brown; lantern, black.  Fog bell on westerly side of roof.
Height: 40'
Original Lens: Fourth Order
Characteristic: Fixed white with a fixed red sector between W. 7/8N. and NW. 3/8 N.
Fog Signal: Bell; bell struck by machinery every 15 seconds

Photographs:  

CROATAN SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE


CURRITUCK BEACH LIGHT

Location: Outer Banks--Whale Bay, near village of Corolla
Station Established: 1873
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1875
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1939
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: Timber & brick
Construction Materials: Brick
Tower Shape: Conical attached to "Repair Room."
Markings/Pattern: Natural red brick with black lantern
Relationship to Other Structure: 
Characteristics: 20 second cycle-3 on, 17 off
Original Lens: First Order, Polygonal Fresnel, 1875

Historical Information:

  • 1875:1 December: Beacon was first lit.
  • 1876: The Victorian "stick style" keeper's house was completed.
  • 1920: An 1870's dwelling was moved from the Long Point Lighthouse Station to the site as a smaller keeper's residence.
  • 1939: Light was automated under USCG control.
  • 2001: The Coast Guard determined the Currituck Beach Lighthouse to be excess.  Currituck Light was among the first lighthouses to be excessed after the passage of National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA).
  • The Historical Services Administration deeded the keeper's house and the land around the house to the state of North Carolina. The lighthouse remained the property of the federal government. Keeper's house was empty, decaying and open to the elements for further deterioration and vandalism.  
  • The Outer Banks Conservationists, Inc. signed a 50 year lease with the state of North Carolina to begin restoring the property.  The lighthouse was reopened to the public. The Outer Banks Conservationists, Inc. continued to maintain and restore the structures on the lighthouse property.
  • On 17 October 2003 the deed to the lighthouse was transferred to the Outer Banks Conservationists, Inc., through the auspices of the NHLPA.

The historical information was researched and written by Diane Hackney, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.

Photographs:  

Currituck Beach Lighthouse


DIAMOND SHOAL LIGHT

Location: NORTH CAROLINA SEACOAST
Station Established: 1891
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1966
Operational? NO; extinguished in December 2001
Automated? YES; 1977
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: STEEL PILINGS
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SKELETAL W/CYLINDRICAL COLUMN
Markings/Pattern: ORANGE TOWER ON WHITE SQUARE SUPERSTRUCTURE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: DCB 224

Historical Information:

  • The Diamond Shoal "Texas Tower" was originally constructed and placed in operation in 1966 and was automated in 1977.  Since that time the structure deteriorated to such an extent that the light was formally extinguished in December of 2001.  The "Texas Tower" structure is scheduled to be demolished.

Photographs:  

DIAMOND SHOAL "TEXAS TOWER" LIGHT STRUCTURE


FRYING PAN SHOALS LIGHT

NORTH CAROLINA SEACOAST
Station Established: 1879
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1964
Operational? YES
Automated? YES;1979
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: STEEL PILINGS
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: GREEN TOWER ON YELLOW HOUSE/BLACK PILES
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: DCB 224

Historical Information:

  • The Frying Pan Shoals "Texas Tower" was originally constructed and placed in operation in 1964 and was automated in 1979.  Since that time the structure deteriorated to such an extent that the light has been formally extinguished and the "Texas Tower" structure is scheduled to be demolished.

Photographs:  

Frying Pan Shoals Texas Tower & LV-115 / WAL-537: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi): Original caption: "SERVICE MODERNIZATION--New U.S. Coast Guard Frying Pan Shoals Offshore Light Tower, placed in operation on November 24, 1964, replaces famous old 133-ft. Lightship (WAL-537) which guarded the shoals 28 miles southeast of Cape Fear, N.C., since she was built in 1930.  The lightship circles the tower here, gives three farewell whistle blasts, and departs for Morehead City, N.C., to prepare for her new assignment at Cape May, N.J., as a Relief Lightship."; caption sheet is dated 4 January 1965; Photo No. #5CGD-11-25-64(01); photographer unknown.


LAUREL POINT LIGHT

LAUREL POINT, SOUTH SIDE OF ALBEMARLE SOUND, NORTH CAROLINA
Station Established: 1880
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: UNKNOWN
Operational? NO
Automated? YES
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: IRON SCREWPILE
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: HEXAGONAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs:  

Laurel Point Light Station; (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi) ; Original caption: "LAUREL POINT LIGHT STATION, N.C. [;] FIFTH NAVAL DISTRICT [;] (NORFOLK)"; no date/photo number; photographer unknown.


LONG POINT  BEACON LIGHT (No. 8)

LONG POINT, COINJOCK BAY, CURRITUCK, NORTH CAROLINA
Station Established: 1879
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1901
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: UNKNOWN
Tower Shape: LANTERN ON A POLE
Markings/Pattern: UNKNOWN
Relationship to Other Structure: SPERATE
Original Lens: UNKNOWN

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs:  

Beacon Light No. 8 (Long Point): (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "C. S. 2. LONG POINT LIGHT STATION, N.C. JUNE 19, 1893 DWELLING NO. 1."; 19 June 1893; Photo No. 212; photographer unknown.


NEUSE RIVER LIGHT

PINEY POINT, ENTRANCE OF NEUSE RIVER FROM PAMLICO SOUND, NORTH CAROLINA
Station Established: 1828
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1862
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: UNKNOWN
Foundation Materials: IRON SCREWPILE
Construction Materials: WOODEN
Tower Shape: COTTAGE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE SQUARE COTTAGE WITH BROWN ROOF AND BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs:  

Neuse River Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi) ; Original caption: "NEUSE RIVER LT.";  no date; Photo No. 051672-30; photographer unknown.


OAK ISLAND LIGHT

Oak Island, NC
Location: Oak Island Coast Guard Station; between Caswell Beach and Fort Caswell
Station Established: 1958
Year Current Tower First Lit: 1958
Operational:
Automated: 1958
Deactivated: no
Foundation Materials: concrete with steel pilings
Construction Materials: concrete
Tower Shape: cylindrical
Height: 148’
Markings/Pattern: gray, white and black
Relationship to Other Structure: detached
Original Lens: carbon-arc mercury lamps in 36-inch reflectors
Height of Focal Plane: 24 miles
Appropriation: $110,000

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Jamie Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs:  

OAK ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE


OCRACOKE ISLAND LIGHT

Location: OCRACOKE INLET/OUTER BANKS
Station Established: 1803
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1823
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1955
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: DRESSED STONE/TIMBER
Construction Materials: BRICK W/MORTAR SURFACE
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1854

Historical Information:

  • As a consequence of the invitation held out by the act of August 7, 1789, and other similar acts of Congress, various cessions of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, public piers, and lots of land for lighthouses were made from time to time by the various States, vesting the property, jurisdiction, and sometimes both, or right of occupancy in the Government of the United States. On February 7, 1795, land necessary for a lighted beacon on Shell Castle Island (later known as Beacon Island) was turned over to the United States by the State of North Carolina and in a deed from J. G. Blount and John Wallace bearing the date of November 29, 1797, for a lot on Shell Castle Island, it was stipulated "that no goods should be stored, no tavern kept, no spirits retailed, no merchandise to be carried on, and that no person should reside on, or make it a stand to pilot or lighter vessels."

  • The first lighted beacon at Ocracoke was built on Shell Castle Island in the year 1798, and was erected in connection with the lighthouse on Cape Hatteras. This was authorized on July 10, 1797. Further appropriations for this beacon were made in 1800, 1803, and 1808.
  • On May 15, 1820, Congress appropriated $14,000 "for building a lighthouse on Shell Castle Island, in the State of North Carolina, or, in lieu thereof, a light vessel to be moored in a proper place near said island if, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Treasury, the latter shall be preferred."
  • A total of $6,625 was spent in 1820 and 1821 for this purpose. "In process of time" Mr. S. Pleasonton, Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, later wrote "the channel leading in and out of Ocracoke left the lighthouse the distance of a mile, so as to render it altogether useless. The fact being made known to Congress, an appropriation was made of $20,000 for building another near the channel, and this was built in 1823, by Noah Porter, of Massachusetts, for $11,359.35."
  • This light was built on Ocracoke Island under a congressional authorization dated May 7, 1822. It was built on 2 acres of land sold to the United States for $50 on December 5, 1822, by Jacob Gaskell, jurisdiction being ceded to the United States by the North Carolina General Assembly on December 28, 1822.
  • The 1854 report of the Lighthouse Board indicated that at Ocracoke Island a fourth-order Fresnel fixed white light was substituted for the old reflecting illuminating apparatus. In 1857 the Board reported "The Ocracoke channel light vessel and the Beacon Island lighthouse, at the same place have, several times, been reported by this Board as useless and their discontinuance recommended. The erection of a small beacon light at the Ocracoke main light station, to serve as a range light, at a cost, if authorized, of not over $750, and to form a part of the present light station at Ocracoke, will fully subserve the wants of the present and prospective navigation of that inlet much better than by keeping up the Ocracoke Channel and Nine Feet Shoal light vessel, and Beacon Island lighthouse, at an annual saving of between $5,000 and $10,000." Congress appropriated the $750 for the beacon range light on Ocracoke Island on March 3, 1859, "provided that the lighthouse on Beacon Island and Ocracoke Light vessel be discontinued after the erection and exhibition of the aforesaid beacon light." In 1862 the Beacon Island light tower was still standing but the lens had been removed. Meanwhile new Franklin lamps had been substituted for valve lamps in the Ocracoke Lighthouse. In 1899 new model fourth-order lamps were supplied. 
  • The present white tower, on Ocracoke Island and built in 1823, stands 76 feet above the ground and 75 feet above water and the 8,000-candlepower, fourth-order fixed-white electric light is visible for 14 miles.

Photographs:  

OCRACOKE LIGHTHOUSE


PAMLICO POINT SHOAL LIGHT

Location: IN 11 FEET OF WATER, ON THE EASTERLY POINT OF THE SHOAL MAKING OUT FROM PAMLICO POINT, SOUTHERLY SIDE OF THE ENTRANCE TO PAMLICO RIVER
Station Established: 1891
Year Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1891
Operational: No
Automated: ?
Deactivated: Yes
Tower Shape / Markings / Pattern: White hexagonal screw-pile structure; piles and roof, brown; blinds, green; lantern, black.
Height: 43-1/2
'
Original Lens: Fourth Order
Characteristic: Fixed white
Fog Signal: Bell struck by machinery every 10 seconds 

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Andrew Gray, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs:  

PAMLICO POINT SHOAL LIGHT


PRICE'S CREEK LIGHT

Price’s Creek, NC Station Established: 1848 Year Current Tower First Lit: 1849 Operational: no Automated: Deactivated: Foundation Materials: Construction Materials: brick Location: Southport, NC Tower Shape: tapered tower Height: 20’ Markings/Pattern: Relationship to Other Structure: Original Lens:
Height of Focal Plane: 25’ Appropriation:

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Jamie Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.


ROANOKE MARSHES LIGHT

Location: IN 13 FEET OF WATER, ON THE EASTERLY SIDE AND ABOUT MIDWAY OF THE NARROW CHANNEL CONNECTING PAMLICO AND CROATAN SOUNDS
Station Established: 1857
Year Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1877
Operational: No
Automated: ?
Deactivated: 1955
Tower Shape / Markings / Pattern: White square crew-pile structure; piles and roof, brown; lantern, black. Two clusters of piles to northward and two to southward of light-house.
Height: 37'
Original Lens: Fourth Order
Characteristic: Fixed white with a fixed red sector between S. 7/8 E. and S. 1/2 E.
Fog Signal: Blower siren; blasts 8 seconds, silent intervals 1-1/2 seconds

Photographs:  

ROANOKE MARSHES LIGHT


ROANOKE RIVER LIGHT

Location: EDENTON, RELOCATED FROM ABERMARLE SOUND
Station Established: 1831
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1903
Operational? NO
Automated? UNK
Deactivated: 1941
Foundation Materials: ORIG. IRON SCREW PILE; REPLICA-RECTANGULAR
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE TOWER ON BROWN PILES
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Jamie Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs:  

Roanoke River Light: (75 dpi); (300 dpi); photo provided courtesy of John Papp & Yvonne Zemotel.  Note: not an official U.S. Coast Guard photograph.

Roanoke River lantern room: (75 dpi); (300 dpi); photo provided courtesy of John Papp & Yvonne Zemotel.  Note: not an official U.S. Coast Guard photograph.  Note the original 4th Order Fresnel lens.


WADE POINT LIGHT

Location: IN 8 FEET OF WATER, ON THE SHOAL MAKING OFF FROM WADE POINT, ABOUT 3-3/4 MILES TO THE EASTWARD OF THE POINT, AND ON THE WESTERLY SIDE OF THE ENTRANCE TO PASQUOTANK RIVER, NORTHERLY SIDE OF THE ALBEMARLE SOUND
Station Established: 1826
Year Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1899
Operational: No
Automated: No
Deactivated: 1955
Tower Shape / Markings / Pattern: White, square, screw-pile structure; piles and roof, brown; lantern, black. Old pile structure adjacent and connected by a foot-bridge.
Height: 39'
Original Lens: Fourth Order
Characteristic: Fixed white
Fog Signal: 

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Jamie Smith, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs:  

WADE POINT LIGHTHOUSE


Last Modified 11/17/2014