In 1849 there were 9 lighthouses located in the Cape Fear area. Only one of those lighthouses remains here today.
Most people would say - Old Baldy, but that's not right!
The only remaining lighthouse from 1849 is located at Prices Creek.
The Prices Creek Lighthouse was part of a chain of seven lighthouses that were used navigational aids to guide sailing vessels up the Cape Fear River to the Port of Wilmington
The Confederates destroyed all of the lighthouses except Prices Creek as they lost control of the area during the civil war.
They all stood only about 25 feet tall, made of brick or wood, and used a system of oil lamps and reflectors as a beacon.
The bricks for the Prices Creek lighthouse were brought over from England. It is unclear if Prices Creek Lighthouse was the only one of the seven built with brick and that is why it is still standing.
Bald Head Island Lighthouse was the first of 2 lighthouses located on Smith Island. The first was erected in 1817, stood 95 feet. Mariners complained the light was not high enough also the structure was located too close to the river and suffered from erosion problems similar to the light at Cape Hatteras.
The present light was built in 1903. It stands 150 feet tall and its light could be seen 19 miles out. The lighthouse was taken out of service in 1958 when the Oak Island Lighthouse was built.
OK that covers 8 locations where was the 9th?
Federal Point Lighthouses
There were 3 different structures located in the area now occupied by the Aquarium over a span of 80 years that served as a guide for the New Inlet area.
The first was built in 1817 and lasted for 20 years until it was destroyed by fire.
The second was built in 1837 out of brick and stood 30 feet. In 1863 in an effort to thwart the Union Army, the building was destroyed by the Confederate authorities.
Email your questions to Capt. John Pagenstecher at John@Kayakcarolina.com
or visit him at www.kayakcarolina.com