Ocracoke Light facts for kids
|Location||SR 1326, Ocracoke Island, Ocracoke, North Carolina, Hyde County, North Carolina|
|Year first constructed||1798|
|Year first lit||1823 (current tower)|
|Foundation||Dressed stone / timber|
|Construction||Brick with mortar surface|
|Markings / pattern||White|
|Height||76 feet (23 m)|
|Focal height||75 feet (23 m)|
|Current lens||4th order Fresnel lens
|Range||15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi)|
Ocracoke // Light was built in Hyde County, on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina in 1823 by Massachusetts builder Noah Porter. The lighthouse stands 75 feet (23 m) tall. Its diameter narrows from 25 feet (7.6 m) at the base to 12 feet (3.7 m) at its peak. The lighthouse was built to help guide ships through Ocracoke Inlet into Pamlico Sound.
In 1864, Confederate troops dismantled the fourth-order Fresnel Lens, but Union forces later restored it.
Ocracoke Light is the oldest operating light station in North Carolina and the second oldest lighthouse still standing in the state. The lighthouse was automated in 1955. During the summer months when there is a U.S. National Park Ranger on duty, visitors may access the base of the lighthouse. Access to the top of the lighthouse is not allowed due to the simple steel spiral staircase being safe only for maintenance activity.
However, this is not the original staircase; the original staircase was a wooden step spiral built into the inside of the exterior wall. This was removed during the 1950s due to excessive rotting to the boards and a lacking necessity for a substantial staircase because of the automation of the light. The wooden stairs were removed and the holes in the all-brick lighthouse were cemented closed.
The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 as Ocracoke Light Station.
Ocracoke Light Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.