"Blackbeard's Light at Ocracoke 1823" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Off The Beaten Path Tip by grandmaR
United States of America Off The Beaten Path: 302 reviews and 511 photos
Located in the fishing village of Ocracoke on one of the highest spots on the island of Ocracoke, this is the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina and is equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.
The first Ocracoke lighthouse, a 54-foot wooden tower was built on the Ocracoke Inlet entrance in 1798. This was where Edward Teach, otherwise known as "Blackbeard the Pirate," lived at one time. The channel shifted, rendering the lighthouse ineffective, and it was destroyed by lightening in 1818.
It was replaced by a light vessel in the inlet in 1820, but by 1822 shifting sands made this useless, and Congress authorized the money to build the present tower which stands only 75 feet tall. Becaise it is the shortest lighthouse on the North Carolina Coast it can be only be seen for 14 miles.
The lantern room is a bit off-center and one side of the tower is steeper than the other though architectural plans show all details in line. The lighthouse was cemented and whitewashed in 1868, giving it the appearance it has today. Originally fueled by whale oil, it is now lit by automatic electric power. It is still an active lighthouse, and is not open to the public. Even so, it is in the 2nd tier of lighthouses to visit - a gold rating
It has survived numerous hurricanes including the Hurricane of 1944. This hurricane flooded the entire island - some homes had 25-30 inches in them. Water lapped against the doorstep of the lighthouse and was seven inches deep in the keeper's house.
Ocracoke Island can be reached only by ferry from either Hatteras or Cedar Island. The Hatteras ferry is free. The Cedar Island ferry is not.
Phone: (252) 928-4531
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