Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Location: Corolla, North Carolina

Year Built: 1875

Height: 162 Feet

Lodging: No

Active: Yes

Open For Tours: Yes (between Easter and Thanksgiving)

Due to the dangerous conditions created by a treacherous shoal around the shores and the Gulf Stream being so close to the shoals, the Outer Banks of North Carolina is home to several lighthouses. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse added it’s light to the shores of this rugged maritime terrain on December 1, 1875. Unlike other lighthouses in the area, the exterior of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse was not painted, giving the tower it’s distinctive bare brick exterior. This exterior is particularly fitting, since the Currituck was the last major brick lighthouse to be built on the Outer Banks.

Although the lighthouse has been fully automated since 1939, it still uses the original first-order lens it was equipped with in 1875. While visitors are invited to climb the 214 steps leading to the outer gallery, the lens room is not open to the public. Part of the reason that visitors are not allowed in the lens room is that the lighthouse is still active, and the other part is due to a need to preserve the vintage lens.

In 2003, a legal battle began for ownership of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. In 1939, the US Coast Guard assumed responsibility for the lighthouse from the United States Lighthouse Board, and it remained under control of the Coast Guard until 2003 when it the ownership proposal submitted by the Outer Banks Conservationists. Currituck County, where the lighthouse is located, also submitted an application for ownership, but was turned down by the Coast Guard in favor of the Outer Banks Conservationists. The County sued the Conservationists in a last ditch attempt to gain possession of the lighthouse, but the courts upheld the decision made by the Coast Guard and the lighthouse remains in the possession of the Outer Banks Conservationists.

Have you climbed to the outer gallery of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse? Let us know how the view was. Write up a review of your experience in the comment section below!






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