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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made Features • Waterways & VesselsLighthouses series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1823.
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. Marker is located along the Ocracoke Lighthouse path near the lighthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 360 Lighthouse Road, Ocracoke NC 27960, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 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); Harboring Change (approx. half a mile away); Welcome to Ocracoke… (approx. 0.6 miles away); Teach's Hole (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fort Ocracoke (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ocracoke.
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, (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 (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 28, 2018. It was originally submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 200 times since then and 48 times this year. 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.