Currituck Beach Lighthouse was used for the first time on December 1, 1875. It is located in the town of Corolla. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1873. Red bricks were used in the construction of the lighthouse so sailors could distinguish Currituck Beach Lighthouse from other towers north and south of the area. The bricks remain unpainted. The base of the lighthouse is six feet thick. The thick base was constructed so the lighthouse could withstand the force of a hurricane. The purpose of the lighthouse was to light the water stretching between Cape Henry, Virginia, and Bodie Island, North Carolina. Many ships were stranded by the low-lying shoreline located along that particular stretch. The lighthouse was used to warn the ships to stay away from the particular area. The lighthouse stands 162 feet tall and a 1,000 watt light bulb is used to light the area.
The Currituck Beach Light is still used as a guide to aid in the navigation of ships to steer clear of the dangerous shoals in the area. The lighthouse tower light automatically goes on and stays on between dusk and dawn. The lens of the lighthouse and the lightbulb used within the lens are maintained by the United States Coast Guard. The pattern of the warning light is 3 seconds on and 17 seconds off. The light can be seen 19 nautical miles out to sea.
Directions to Currituck Beach Lighthouse:
From Kitty Hawk, turn north off of US 158 and onto NC 12. Then drive 20 miles to the town of Corolla. The lighthouse is on your left and can be seen from the road.
Currituck Beach Lighthouse Facts:
Currituck Beach Lighthouse
- Lighthouse grounds and the lighthouse are open during daylight hours from March through Thanksgiving weekend (closed on Thanksgiving Day).
- Restoration is funded by climbing fees, donations, and sponsorships of Outer Banks Conservationists, Inc.
- There are 214 steps up the spiral staircase.
- The focal plane is at 158 feet; tower is 162 feet to top of the roof.
- There are nearly one million bricks in the tower.
- Double brick walls taper from a thickness of 5 feet 8 inches to 3 feet at the base of the iron lantern room.
- The present flash characteristics is one white flash every 20 seconds (3 seconds on and 17 seconds off) from a first order Fresnel lens, and the beam reaches 19 nautical miles out to sea.
- The signal from the lighthouse is visible for 19 miles.
P.O. Box 58
Corolla, NC 27929
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