Cape Hatteras Light Station

Sunday, 17 June 2012

While in Nags Head, North Carolina with my friend Melissa and her good friends, we took a side trip to see the Cape Hatteras Light Station. This is a cool site because it makes one of the biggest engineering feats in the United States to date.

My friend Steve and I ventured to the light house with friends Angie and Bill. 

The Cape Hatteras Light House (located on land that is part of a National Park) was built close to the shore line in the Outer Banks in the mid-1800s. Over time, the beach eroded and in 1934, the Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse as a beacon for ships. Even though in the 1960s-1980s crews worked to stabilize the beach, efforts were washed away in a hurricane. It was looking pretty dark for the light house... but wait! After years of study, in 1999, the lighthouse was actually moved 2,900 feet away from the shore in 23 days.

The move was controversial because many people believed the lighthouse would not survive the structural trauma. The International Chimney Corp of Buffalo, New York won the contract and got the job done in three weeks. There's a museum on site with an interesting documentary on the pragmatics of the move. 

I adore lighthouses and have a particular fondness for Old Baldy on Bald Head Island, North Carolina.

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