Atlantic Beach in Carteret County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Fort Macon Coast Guard Station
Fort Macon Life-Saving Station
In 1903, the US War Department approved a request from the US Treasury Department to establish a US Life-Saving Service station on the Fort Macon Military Reservation. In 1904 a wood frame hip-roofed station house and a boathouse were constructed as the Fort Macon Life-Saving Station on a marsh creek known as Cowpen Creek adjacent to the old fort. Over the next eleven years the station’s personnel assisted mariners in distress, helped refloat stranded vessels and towed in disabled vessels.
A keeper was in charge of a station, assisted six or more Surfmen, who formed the boat crews. Each station had surf-boats and lifeboats powered by oars or sails to carry out their duties. Beginning in the early 1900s, these were eventually replaced by motor-powered surf-boats and lifeboats.
Under the US Coast Guard
In 1915, the US Life-Saving Service was merged with the US Revenue Cutter Service to form the US Coast Guard. At that time, the Fort Macon Life-Saving Station became Fort Macon Coast Guard Station, Number 191. In 1924, the Fort Macon Military Reservation was given to the State of North Carolina by congressional act to become Fort Mason State Park. However, the tract of 22.6 acres on which the Fort Macon Coast Guard Station was located was retained by the US Government for Coast Guard use. The station still resides on this tract within Fort Macon State Park.
Expanded Facilities and Responsibilities
During the remainder of the 20th Century, the station was expanded to meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s ever-changing responsibilities. In 1938 a new station house, boathouse and other facilities were added. Concrete docks were added during World War II, and engineer shops were added in 1948. The station houses were replaced by a modern 70-man barracks building in 1965. In the early 1990s the barracks buildings was renovated and new support facilities were constructed.
Today Coast Guard Station Fort Macon’s duties and responsibilities have expanded far beyond the modest little 1904 station house and boathouse.
(lower left) The Fort Macon Life-Saving Station was built in 1904
(upper center) The boathouse for the Fort Macon station was situated at the head of Cowpen Creek, northwest of the old fort.
(lower center-left) The station house with a new lookout tower erected in 1935.
(lower center-right) A new station house capable of housing twenty-five men was built in 1938.
(lower right) Modern view of the Coast Guard Station and Fort Macon.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts or Castles • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 34° 41.849′ N, 76° 40.717′ W. Marker is in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, in Carteret County. Marker can be reached from East Fort Macon Road (County Route 1190) 3.6 miles east of Atlantic Beach Causeway (County Route 1182). The marker is located on the grounds of the Fort Mason State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2303 East Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach NC 28512, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World War II Defenses (here, next to this marker); Fort Macon in the 1920s and 1930s (a few steps from this marker); The Military Post of Fort Macon in the Nineteenth Century (a few steps from this marker); World War II Barracks Area (within shouting distance of this marker); Officers Quarters at Fort Macon (within shouting distance of this marker); 30-Pounder Parrott Rifle (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Macon (within shouting distance of this marker); Bogue Banks Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlantic Beach.
Also see . . . Fort Macon State Park. N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation (Submitted on September 15, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 317 times since then and 20 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on September 13, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.