Roanoke River Lighthouse
Colonial Park (waterfront Edenton), Edenton, NC, USA
www.ehcnc.org/history/lighth… - 252-482-7800
Roanoke River Lighthouse Edenton Reviews
A Light Sight Dec 29, 2012
The most stunning facet of Colonial Park along Edenton’s waterfront is the Roanoke River Lighthouse. The screwpile lighthouse has been magnificently restored and sits atop the water just offshore. I’m not certain exactly where things are in the restoration effort, but I would hope there are plans to make it accessible for tours as it practically begs exploration.
The lighthouse had a long history. Originally located near Plymouth across Albemarle Sound at the mouth of the Roanoke River, the beacon was put into service in 1887, a replacement for earlier versions which had been scuttled by the Union Army, burnt down by fire and skewered by ice floes escaping the Roanoke. The lighthouse remained in active service until 1941 and subsequently got sold for a whopping $10 in 1955 to a gentleman who bought three lighthouses from the state. Unfortunately his efforts to relocate the first two resulted in losing them at sea, so he re-sold the structure to a local tugboat operator who used to pass by daily.
The tugboat operator successfully moved the lighthouse across the sound (using his own boat and claiming he did it in 36 hours!) and beached it near Edenton, continuing a cheap price tag history by renting it out for $50 a month for several years before moving in himself. Although the owner had discussed selling the structure back to Plymouth to have it turned into a museum (it was now the last remaining screwpile lighthouse in North Carolina), he passed away in 1995 before finalizing a deal.
When discussions resumed with the owner’s heirs, they demanded an exorbitant one million dollars and Plymouth went forward by building a replica and opening a museum. The original Roanoke River Lighthouse rested on the shores near Edenton and rotted away, especially after Hurricane Isabel struck in 2003. The town of Edenton purchased the wreckage for a much more reasonable $25,000 in 2007, relocated it to Colonial Park and accomplished a miraculous restoration effort.
The lighthouse is now a glamorous view as you gaze out to sea from downtown Edenton and my sincere hope is that they devise a convenient way to get over and allow folks to tour a unique piece of history.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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