The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is the northern most
lighthouse along the North Carolina Coast. With
construction completed in December 1875, the beacon
of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse filled the remaining
dark spot on the North Carolina coast between the
Virginia Cape Henry light to the north and Bodie Island
light to the south.
Built in Corolla Village, the early years around this
lighthouse were quiet and sparsely populated. Other
than the historic Whale Head Hunt Club, in her shadows
were mostly ship wrecks, sand dunes, and the many
wild horse still roaming free on the beach just north of
With an unpainted all natural red brick look, she stands
162 feet tall. The walls at her base are over 5 feet thick.
It took over one million bricks shipped in from near by
Norfolk, VA to build this magnificent historic structure.
For a small donation she is open for public tours. A
climb up her spiral staircase, all 214 steps will get you to
the very top for a sight that's nothing short of
spectacular, an awesome view of North Carolina's
beautiful and fragile barrier islands.
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is known as a first
order lighthouse, which means it has the largest of the
world famous Fresnel lens. Before electricity, a
mechanical system turned the light and kept it flashing
night after night. The keeper cranked the weights up by
hand every two and a half hours to keep the light turning.
The original source of light was a U.S. Mineral oil lamp
that burned several wicks each as large as 4 inches in
diameter. Today, an electric 1000-watt bulb flashes
automatically every evening at dusk and turns off at
Below the lighthouse you will find the house of the
Lighthouse Keepers, a Victorian ''stick style'' dwelling. It
was constructed from pre-cut lumber, shipped in on a
barge and assembled right here on this site. Completed
in 1876, two keepers and their families shared the
duplex in this one-time very isolated seaside setting.
A place the Light House Keepers once called home,
they left the house in 1939 after the Lighthouse was
automated by the United States Coast Guard.
Attendants were no longer needed to clean the lenses
put fuel the lamp, keep the wicks trimmed, and wind the
huge clockwork mechanism which rotated the light.
After years of neglect and the pounding of one hurricane
after another, recent renovations by the Outer Banks
Conservationists have the Currituck Beach Lighthouse
looking almost new again. Today, the grounds,
walkways and outlying buildings of the lighthouse
compound are refurbished, including the restoration of
the double Keepers' House now used as a grounds
At night, her light can be seen for 18 nautical miles and
like other lighthouses on North Carolina's Outer Banks,
this one still serves as an aid to navigation. Still helping
to provide save passage and warning of nearby shoals
to those who continue to sail the dark and sometimes
treacherous seas off the Currituck beach.
In 1973 the lighthouse was added to the National
Register of Historic Places. Well worth the visit, the
Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, North Carolina.
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