Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is an exterior recreation from the original plans with some slight alteration of the screw-pile lighthouse that was originally built in 1877 and decommissioned in 1955. It was renovated and reopened on September 25, 2004.
The lighthouse’s Fresnel lens was built in the 1800’s by the firm of Henri LePaute of Paris, France. The lens measures 2 feet, 4 inches in height, has an inside diameter of 1 foot, 8 inches and weights 200 pounds. Its previous service record is unknown, but lenses of this type were used in major harbors to guide ships through the channels and into port.
The original Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse was illuminated in 1877. The U.S. Coast Guard operated the lighthouse until it was decommissioned in 1955. It stood at the southern entrance to the Croatan Sound, midway between Wanchese and the mainland. The original was one of many screw-pile lighthouses scattered throughout the sounds. During an attempt to move the old Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse to private property, the building was destroyed.
The Roanoke Island Maritime Museum in downtown Manteo contains a permanent exhibit on the history of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, and features changing exhibits on Northeast North Carolina’s maritime history.
For more information, call (252) 475-1750
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