Saturday, July 22, 2006

Troubled light

The original Bodie Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1838 on North Carolina’s Outer Banks was a 54-foot tall brick tower built on an unstable base. Within two years it settled and fell out of plumb, rendering the rotating optic mechanism unusable. Abandoned, the light tower was destroyed by a storm.

Tower number two did not fare much better. An 80-foot tall tower was built in 1859, but Confederate troops, fearing the tower might fall into Union hands, blew it up in 1861.

Tower number three, and the one that is pictured above, has stood tall (166 feet tall, in fact) for more than 130 years, offering guidance to southbound vessels on their way to Cape Hatteras. Third time is the charm.

The last light of day plays on the tower and out buildings, tingeing clouds in the distance as night begins to settle over the barrier islands.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan

2 comments:

V. Schroeder said...

Great picture and thanks for filling in some of the history.

James said...

Most lighthouses have a long and storied history that's part of their allure for me. Thanks for the comment!