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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Manteo in Dare County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Manteo Weather Tower

 
 
Manteo Weather Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 20, 2014
1. Manteo Weather Tower Marker
Inscription. The US Weather Bureau once used Coastal Warning Display towers such as this one to fly signal flags to warn mariners of wind shifts or approaching storms.

On November 10, 1904, the Weather Bureau established the Manteo Weather Station with Alpheus W. Drinkwater in charge. The Manteo Chamber of Commerce requested that the bureau be given permission to place a tower on the grounds of the Dare County Courthouse.

Since weather news was transmitted by telegraph, Drinkwater, in his role as telegraph operator, was a logical choice for the weatherman. He also is noted for sending news of the Wright Brothers’ flight tests to news agencies across the country.

Beyond the symbolic colors and shapes that foretold a rainy day or a flood tide on a northwesterly wind, weather flags, when flown in various combinations of shapes and colors, signaled that it was time to take in the laundry or to set the fishing nets, part of everyday life in Manteo. At night, two red and one white signal lights signaled storm warnings.

The tower was later moved near its present location on the waterfront and then to Drinkwater’s home on Ananias Dare (old Main) street. Upon inquiry by the Manteo Board of Commissioners, the John Booth family gave permission for the tower to be moved to town property, and
Manteo Weather Tower image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 20, 2014
2. Manteo Weather Tower
provided the original signal lights.

In 2005, the Town of Manteo had the tower refurbished and moved to this site so that the weather signal flags could once again fly on the Manteo waterfront. The Manteo Weather Tower is believed to be one of only five towers still in use, and may be the only one with all of its original signal lights affixed.
 
Location. 35° 54.522′ N, 75° 40.136′ W. Marker is in Manteo, North Carolina, in Dare County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Queen Elizabeth Avenue and Fernando Street, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manteo NC 27954, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse (here, next to this marker); USLSS/USCG Station Pea Island Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Spirit of Roanoke Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Dare County Veterans Memorial (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Channel Obstructions (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Bartow (approx. 0.3 miles away); Andrew Cartwright (approx. 1.3 miles away); Battle of Roanoke Island (approx. 1.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Manteo.
 
Categories. CommunicationsMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
High Water Mark<br>7 Feet 11 Inches Above Mean Sea Level image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 20, 2014
3. High Water Mark
7 Feet 11 Inches Above Mean Sea Level
August 27, 2011
On this day, Hurricane Irene caused water from the Shallowbag Bay to rise to this level at this location
Helical Screw Pile Display image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 20, 2014
4. Helical Screw Pile Display
Helical Screw Pile Exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 20, 2014
5. Helical Screw Pile Exhibit
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 205 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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