Currituck Beach Lighthouse

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1101 Corolla Village Road, Corolla, NC, USA

Currituck Beach Lighthouse Corolla Reviews

grandmar grandmar
249 reviews
Currituck Beach Lighthouse Nov 29, 2004
The historic light station at Corolla village (36 22 36 N, 75 49 51 W) is known as the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Technically it is NOT the Corolla Lighthouse.

It is one of eight lighthouses positioned along the Outer Banks and was built after the Civil War to fill in the remaining darkness between Bodie Island and Cape Henry, Virginia. Construction was begun in 1873, at the Whaleshead settlement adjacent to Currituck Sound and was completed in 1875.

It stands 163 feet high and is constructed of more than one million bricks. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse was left unpainted in order to distinguish it from the other lighthouses along the Outer Banks.

According to the NPS, "The lighthouse remains today an active aid to navigation and for a number of years was the only lighthouse along the Outer Banks open to the public. It is the only lighthouse in North Carolina still housed in its original structure. It is one of only a dozen lighthouses nationwide with an original Fresnel lens still in use. In 1973, the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places."

The lighthouse grounds provide many opportunities for photos, even if you do not want to climb the tower. The lighthouse was finished on December 1, 1875. You can see how many bricks it must have taken. The 158 foot lighthouse was automated in 1939 and still flashes at 20-second intervals.

The Lighthouse Keepers' House, a Victorian "stick style" dwelling, was pre-cut and labeled, shipped by barge and then assembled on site. In 1876, when the Keepers' House was completed, two keepers and their families shared the duplex. About 1920 another building was moved to the site for a third keeper and his family. The house was abandoned in 1939 when the lighthouse was automated, and served for a time as storage for hay. In 1995 the restored little keeper's house was returned to service as a Museum Shop offering visitors models of lighthouses, books and other lighthouse and wild horse-related items.

Other historic structures located within the lighthouse compound include an outhouse and a storage building. The two-hole privy has been repaired and the storage building with its four sharp finials has been restored and now serves as the lighthouse staff office. The two louvered structures flanking the Keepers' House are cisterns which store rain water.

After the Lighthouse was automated the attendants were no longer needed to clean the lenses, trim the wicks, fuel the lamp, and wind the clockwork mechanism which rotated the beacon, so by the late 1970s, the Lighthouse Keepers' House stood open to the elements with no windows or doors; porches had decayed and vines invaded the north side. Much of the interior millwork had been vandalized. Restoration of the Keeper's house is an on-going project

The non-profit Outer Banks Conservationists, Inc. had a 20 year lease on the lighthouse, and has now been awarded ownership of the historic structure.for education, park, recreation, cultural, or historic preservation purposes om 2003.
Currituck Beach Lighthouse
Top of the Currituck Beach Lightho…
Door to the Currituck Beach Lighth…
Restored Keeper's House on the lig…
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photo by: vances