CAPE HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE

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Labor Day Weekend, 2005

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras, NC

 

About the Lighthouse and visitors center: Located at Cape Hatteras, the cape is actually a bend in Hatteras Island, It's one of the long thin known as the Barrier islands that make up the . The first lighthouse at the cape was built in 1803; it was replaced by the current Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in 1870, which at 208 ft is the tallest in the United States. Cape Hatteras is also infamous for being constantly struck by hurricanes (about 40 as of 2005) that move up the East Coast of the United States. The strike of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 was particularly devastating for the area. Because of original location of the lighthouse, the lighthouse was in danger of being lost to encroaching ocean, so the summer of 1999, the lighthouse was moved 2,899.57 feet from its original location.  This remarkable feat took from June 17, 1999 to July 9th, 1999 (23 days).  It was moved it in five-foot increments to it's new home. If the lighthouse wasn't just about the most famous in the US, the move surely secured that place in history. Recommendations:  Eat and drink before going. Nothing at all, including chewing gum, tobacco, bulky items, anything that can be thrown like Frisbees, no umbrellas, backpacks or anything large like beach bags; no high heels allowed, no animals and you cannot carry small children, so no small children should go inside. If elderly, extremely out of shape or ill, do not go inside as it's a very harsh climbing experience. It's also windy at top, so hang on or stay close to wall.  Light Jacket in all seasons but summer suggested. No food on premises at all.  Good walking shoes and camera suggested.

 

Lighthouse facts: Height: 193' 2" not including foundation and lightening rod; 208' including both foundation and rod About the Stripes: 2 black and 2 white stripes; each circles the tower 1.5 times; all are wider at the bottom than at the top Stairs: 257 for public; 269 to lantern (not open to public) Beam Range: 24 Nautical Miles

 

Cost: $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for senior citizens (62 or older), children (12 and under), and those holding Golden Access passes. Hours: Friday before Easter Sunday to Columbus Day each year. Lighthouse tours will begin at 9 a.m. daily and will run every 10 minutes with a limit of 30 visitors per tour. The last tour will be at 4:40 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day the last tour will be at 5:40 p.m. Food/Beverages:  NONE available; there is a water fountain near the ticket Window I believe. but no stands or restaurants within a couple miles of the lighthouse. Restrooms: There may be one located near the ticket window. Wheelchairs: No Accessibility inside the lighthouse. None available for use. Shopping: Small Gift Shop in the Visitors Center Address: The lighthouse is off of NC 12; halfway down the Outer Banks near the town Buxton, NC. There is an eastern turn off of Route 12 into the entrance of the park.
 

Left to Right:  1) Cape Hatteras Lighthouse from a distance 2) The Original Keeper's House 3) the small learning center/visitor's center (very small inside; was once the two assistant light keeper's house), 4) Going up inside the Lighthouse 5) Going Down inside the lighthouse

 

 

 Left to right 1) The old lighthouse spot looking towards the new home of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (the blocks of stone in the foreground mark the original spot and dimensions of the lighthouse 2) View from top of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse 3) A great view of the Lighthouse 4) Another view from different angle and 5) Yet another view from top of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

 

Other links of interest:

 

Day by Day accounting of the moving of the Historic lighthouse and feat


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