Ocracoke in Hyde County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
A Light for Ocracoke Inlet
The first lighthouse at Ocracoke Inlet was the 1798 Shellcastle Rock lighthouse located on an island in the inlet. In such a location—defenseless against storms, tides, and winds—the lighthouse was often inoperative when needed most. Thus, in 1823, it was replaced by this light, the Nation's second oldest still in use. The non-rotating light is 75 feet above sea level and can be seen a full 360 degrees to a distance of fourteen miles. The walls are five feet thick at the base and are made of brick with a mortar surface.
The two story structure on your right originally housed the lighthouse keeper and his family. Today it is a private residence. The small block building formerly provided storage for lamp fuel. Whale oil, porpoise oil and kerosene have all served as fuel for the light. Today the light is electric building houses an auxiliary generator.
The lighthouse is owned and maintained the United States Coast Guard and is closed to the public.
Location. 35° 6.518′ N, 75° 59.16′ W. Marker is in Ocracoke, North Carolina, in Hyde County. Marker can be reached from Lighthouse Road 0.3 miles west of Irvin Garrish Highway (State Highway 12), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located along
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ocracoke Lighthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lake Company (approx. 0.3 miles away); USRC Mercury (approx. half a mile away); Lt. Robert Maynard (approx. half a mile away); British Cemetery - HMT Bedfordshire (approx. 0.6 miles away); U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers - Amphibious Forces, U.S. Navy Monument (approx. one mile away).
Also see . . .
1. Ocracoke Lighthouse. In 1822, for a charge of $50, the federal government purchased two acres at the south end of Ocracoke Island as the site for a new lighthouse. Constructed by Massachusetts's builder Noah Porter and finished in 1823, the tower still stands today. Total cost, including the one story, one bedroom light keeper's house, was $11,359, far below the $20,000 budgeted. The lighthouse stands 75 feet tall. Its diameter narrows from 25 feet at the base to 12 feet at its peak. The walls are solid brick — 12 feet thick at the bottom tapering to two feet at the top. An octagonal lantern crowns the tower and houses the light beacon. (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Ocracoke Island Lighthouse. The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse may not be the most imposing of the Outer Banks lighthouses, but as North Carolina's oldest lighthouse in operation, (and the second oldest in the United States), it is certainly one of the most beloved. It is by far the smallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks, but it still towers over the 4 square miles of Ocracoke Village, and its beacon can be spotted up to 14 miles into the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Ocracoke Light Station. Ocracoke Inlet was first placed on the map when English explorers wrecked a sailing ship there in 1585. Two centuries later, this was one of the busiest inlets on the East Coast. Ocracoke Inlet was the only reasonably navigable waterway for ships accessing inland ports such as Elizabeth City, New Bern, and Edenton. Ocracoke Village, then known as Pilot Town, developed as a result of the inlet’s use. Pilots, hired to steer ships safely through the shifting channels to mainland ports, settled the village in the 1730s. (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 28, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 75 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.