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North Carolina Lighthouses - Cape Hatteras Lighthouse


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With its unique black & white stripes and its isolated location, Cape Hatteras Light is one of the most recognized lighthouses in the United States. She was born of necessity and has stood, although not in the same spot, for over a hundred years. It wasnít until the turn of the 21st century that the latest move took place. It became necessary to move the present tower for the very same reasons itís predecessors met their demise - encroachment of the sea, shifting sands & shoals, and hurricanes too numerous to list.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is America's tallest at 198 feet. It marks the eastern tip of the Outer Banks near the formidable 12 mile sandbar known as Diamond Shoals. This location is the junction point of the cold water Labrador and warm water Gulf Stream ocean currents.

The waters surrounding Cape Hatteras are so treacherous that it long ago became known as the graveyard of the Atlantic. From one day to the next, the shifting shoals in front of the Cape moved with regularity but not with predictability. When a storm hit the Cape, even the local pilots and fisherman couldnít be sure of the depth of the water.

As far back as the end of American Revolution, it was recognized that some thing had to be done at Cape Hatteras. Therefore, in 1803 the first light was erected and a light has stood in the vicinity of the Cape ever since.


Go back to the North Carolina Lighthouse index page

Currituck Lighthouse, Corolla, North Carolina

Bodie Island Lighthouse, North Carolina