Roanoke Marsh Lighthouse, Manteo, NC

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Manteo, North Carolina

Roanoke Marsh Lighthouse, Manteo, NC Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
112 reviews
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse Jul 19, 2012
The lighthouse sits at the end of a dock in Shallowbag Bay on the Manteo waterfront. The original lighthouse sat in Croatan Sound on the other side of the island. It was decommissioned in 1955 and accidentally sank in a futile attempt to move it on shore. The current lighthouse opened in 2004 and is a reconstruction of the 19th-century original.

The interior serves as a small museum on the history of Manteo. The upstairs was cordoned off on my visit just before Memorial Day, so don't expect to do any climbing - not that there are many steps to climb anyhow. Nearby is the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum, which focuses on the history of fishing boats used in the Outer Banks. I ran through the latter museum as I was pressed for time, so can't say much about it except that it is free (the narrow subject it covers should tip you off whether or not you will want to visit). The Manteo waterfront is small but picturesque with some shops and restaurants to wander through (maybe next time I will be able to do so).
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
The lighthouse in Shallowbag Bay
The interior of the lighthouse
Some kind of water racing craft
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emmytravel emmytrav…
49 reviews
Like a two story house, charming May 21, 2010
In February I saw the Roanoke Island Marsh Lighthouse. This is a different lighthouse from any I have seen. It i a quaint lighthouse on the end of a dock. From the outside it looks like a two story house. One could walk into it and around it, but the steps are roped off, so not open for climbing in February. I didn't go again to see if it was open in May for climbing - it might have been.
Zagnut66 says:
I stopped by the lighthouse durung Memorial Day weekend and the upstairs remained roped off. Too bad, it would have been a great view.
Posted on: Jul 18, 2012
grandmar grandmar
249 reviews
1877 Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse Dec 01, 2004
This is a replica of an 1877 screwpile lighthouse that was located offshore in Croatan Sound. It was decommisioned by the US Coast Guard in 1955. It has a short tower with the lantern on roof of the 1 1/2 story wooden keeper's house.

When we visit the lighthouse was fairly new and the museum inside had not yet been set up. The door was locked, so we couldn't go in.

History - the first lighthouse was built in 1831, but an adjacent landowner said it was on his land, so it was abandoned in 1839. In 1858 the second lighthouse was built atop seven metal piles screwed into the muddy bottom. It produced a fixed white light that could be seen up to eleven miles.

According to the Beach Bums page

After a few years passed, it was realized that the water in which the lighthouse stood was getting deeper. Originally constructed in four feet of water, the water level rose to a depth of thirteen feet, causing the lighthouse to flood. The rise in water also resulted in worm damage to the structure.

In 1877, construction was completed at new location approximately one hundred yards from the previous lighthouse. It was decommisioned by the US Coast Guard in 1955

An attempt to move the structure to the mainland by an individual destroyed it beyond repair.

The replica was dedicated on September 25, 2004, and contains exhibits highlighting Roanoke Island's maritime heritage, including a history of the Marshes Lighthouse and its keepers. It is located along the waterfront walk of "Shallowbag Bay" just off the east end of Queen Elizabeth Street in Manteo on what used to be called the "sewer-pier" back in the early 1990s. The sewer treatment facility no longer exists and the pier has been completely renovated


Tuesday - Saturday, 9am - 5pm

Address: Maritime Museum 104 Fernando Street Manteo NC, Roanoke Island, 27954

Phone: (252) 475-1500, ext. 241.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
Door of Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

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photo by: Zagnut66