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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina. Illuminated in 1870. Current lighthouse is the second at the location. The light station was established in 1803. In 1999, the lighthouse was moved 3000’ from its original location.


The lighthouse is a 207' brick, cast iron and stone tower with a 192' focal plane. It’s the world’s tallest brick lighthouse. Automated in 1936.


Posted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 (NRHP Structure #78000266) as the Cape Hatteras Light Station. Also designated as a Civil Engineering Landmark by ASCE in 1999.


The Cape Hatteras Light Station was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1998. The National Park Service Statement of Significance for the deignation stated:


"Cape Hatteras is a prominent projection on North Carolina's famous OuterBanks--the long, low stretches of sandy beaches that protect the state's mainland, but that have been the bane of existence for mariners for centuries. Protection was provided at the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," as the cape has been known for years, in 1803 when the first lighthouse was built. In 1854, it was heightened to 150 feet, and in 1870, the current brick tower was erected. Its height of 208 feet makes it the tallest lighthouse in the nation, and its well-known black and white spiral bands, its daymark, make it a prominent landmark during daylight hours. In addition to the lighthouse, supporting structures--including the oil house and both the principal and assistant keeper's dwellings--also survive. All are popular daytime visitor attractions at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, but at night the lighthouse continues to serve its prime purpose, guiding navigators around the cape."

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Taken on April 5, 2008