Ocracoke Lighthouse

The Oldest Operating Lighthouse
on the North Carolina Coast

The Ocracoke Lighthouse

Ocracoke Lighthouse Facts:

Height of the tower: 65 feet, 75 feet to the focal plane

Year Completed: 1823 (Oldest operating lighthouse on the North Carolina Coast)

Signal Distance: 14 nautical miles

This was the final lighthouse my mom and I saw on our excursion and it turned out to be my mom’s favorite. The lighthouse is located on Ocracoke Island, which can only be reached by ferry. The original Ocracoke lighthouse was built in 1803 on Shell Castle Island inside the Ocracoke Inlet. Apparently this wasn’t far from Blackbeard’s hideout. In 1818, the original tower was destroyed by lightning and was then replaced by the current tower in 1823. Ocracoke Lighthouse remains the oldest active lighthouse on the southern coast.

Laura at the Ocracoke Lighthouse

As I mentioned earlier, you can only reach Ocracoke Island by the Ocracoke ferry. On this ferry, you drive your vehicle on board. A few months prior my mom had gotten a new car. We drove on board excited for a new adventure. You have the choice of either staying in your car or you can walk around or sit inside the ship. My mom and I had decided we were sick of being in the car and decided to get out and stand near the edge to take everything in. We got to an upper deck and heard an alarm going off. We looked at each other and said, "that’s embarrassing, I wonder whose car that is." We continued to look around to see who the poor owner was of this obnoxious vehicle and realized it was our car. Embarrassed, we dashed back to our car to figure out how to turn the alarm off. We turned it off and went back to our positions. Not even five minutes later, the alarm went off again. Again, embarrassed we walked back to turn off our annoying car alarm. The alarm went off a few more times and needless to say my mom and I were a little peeved and mortified when we got off the ferry. We found out later after relaying the story to my dad that my mom's car was motion sensitive. Go figure.

The Ocracoke Ferry

After we got over our little embarrassment, my mom and I parked the car and were excited to see what Ocracoke had to offer. My mom fell in love with Ocracoke NC. She loved the beauty and simplicity the lighthouse had to offer. She says she likes it the most because it was the least visited, very plain and almost forgotten lighthouse. She called it the “forgotten child,” it must have been the motherly instinct in her. In addition to loving Ocracoke lighthouse, we both loved the surrounding island. We both absorbed the beauty, peacefulness, nostalgia, and the overall pride in the Outer Banks the locals exhibited.

I felt like I was in a movie on Ocracoke Island; it just didn’t feel real. Blackbeard the Pirate (aka Edward Teach) used to live on Ocracoke Island and was decapitated here. Legend has it that his ghost haunts the area looking for his head. Ocracoke Island plays into the whole pirate theme, which gave it a unique flavor and made it all the more interesting!

If you collect , follow the link to the latest on eBay.

Follow the link to find the Ocracoke Lighthouse in Ocracoke on the map.

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