ROANOKE MARSHES LIGHT
Manteo, North Carolina
The first of three Roanoke Marshes lighthouses operated from 1831
to 1839. Unfortunately, it was abandonded for several reasons: its original location
was hazardous; it required considerable repairs; and it was claimed it sat on private
property without the owners permission.
The second light was first lit on April 15, 1858. It was a
wooden, cottage-style, screwpile ligthhouse, and was located in the narrow channel
connecting Pamlico and Croatan Sounds. However, it was discontinued less than twenty
years later (1877), due to constant flooding, which led to worm damage. Although
repairs were made, it was considered unsafe, and it was determined that it would be
cheaper to build a new building.
The third lighthouse was put in service in 1877, and located
approximately 100 yards south-southeast of the previous lighthouse. It was a square
screw-pile lighthouse. It was decommissioned in 1955 by the Coast Guard and sold to
Emmett Wiggins, of Edenton, NC. It was placed on a barge to be moved, but fell into
the sound due to rough waves.
The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse that now sits on the Manteo
waterfront is an exterior reproduction of the 1877 lighthouse and was built in 2003-2004.
It sits on the site of the the town's former waste water treatment plant, and
houses a modern fourth-order Fresnel lens on loan from the US Coast Guard. The
interior was left open in order to facilitate educational groups.
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