10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Oak Island Lighthouse

If you are a person who appreciates historical landmarks, then you probably admire the many beautiful and well-placed lighthouses around the country. One lighthouse that has historical significance although it is not as old as many of the other lighthouse of prominence is the Oak Island Lighthouse. When it comes to sites to visit when in the state of North Carolina, the Oak Island Lighthouse is one of the top destinations. There is something mystic about lighthouses if you ask me. A structure that was primarily designed to provide a point of reference for ships approaching the shoreline, these rustic structures develop stories that contribute to unique personalities that ultimately become a part of folklore.

This particular lighthouse may not be hundreds of years old, but it still has history and there are a lot of things that you don’t know. Following are 10 things you didn’t know about the Oak Island Lighthouse.

1. It Was Built at a Total Cost of $110,000

While you probably could not build a lasting structure of that magnitude for anywhere close to $100,000, that amount was significant in 1958 when the lighthouse was erected. What should be considered is the fact that the initial $100,000 dollars invested in the creation of this masterpiece was only the beginning, there an ongoing cost for maintaining the structure that has to be met every year.

2. The Lights On this Tower Are at 169 Feet Above Sea level

The lights that alert ships of the pending shoreline are at 169 feet above the sea level. One misconception that people have when viewing this fact is that the tower is 169 feet tall, but the truth is that the tower itself is only 153 feet tall. The level of the lights also includes the slight rise of the land on which the tower is built. All nautical charts, not the land rise as well.

3. The Upkeep of the Lighthouse is Maintained by a Private Organization

The lighthouse is the property of the township of Caswell Beach; however, maintenance, governance, and tour arrangements are handled by a private 501 c (3) organization by the name of Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse. The town created this organization to offset the cost of maintaining the organization. The town has used this organization to raise money for recent repairs and the ongoing maintenance.

4. The Aluminum Lantern is 11 Feet Tall

When you think of a lantern, it is hard to envision one that is 11 feet tall, but when you consider the distance from which a ship must be able to see the lights on this toward, those lanterns have to be significantly large. The lantern structure is so huge that it had to be installed by Marine helicopters.

5. It Does Not Have the Traditional Spiral Staircase

One of the notable components of most lighthouse structures is the spiral staircase that allows humans to ascend to the top of the tower. This lighthouse does not have a spiral case. Instead, humans must climb to the top uses a series of ships ladders that are positioned to go from the base of the tower to the lantern gallery. There are a total of 131 steps to reach the level of the lantern gallery.

6. Not All of the Tower is Painted

There is a common misconception that the multicolored structure was painted to purpose proport the colors that people see when they look at the tower. The truth is that the first forty feet of the tower that appears gray has not been painted. That shade of gray is the natural color for Portland cement, which is what was used to build that section.

7. The Beacon Characteristics Are Unique

The flashing pattern of the light that sits on top of the tower is four one-second flashes disbursed over 10 seconds. While it may appear that this light beacon is being emanated from one lantern, it is actually the result of eight aero beacon lighting fixtures working in unison. When the tower was first erected the lighting fixture was made up of carbon-arc mercury lamps.

8. There Is An Age Limit to Climb the Tower

The organization that governs the tours of the tower allows tourist to climb the tower year-round; however, there is one restriction. You must be at least nine-years-old to climb the toward. Additionally, reservations to climb the toward must be made two weeks in advance. There are scheduled tours that reservationists will be added to as they call in.

9. The Coast Guard Inspects All Maintenance and Upkeep

While the tower is owned by Caswell Beach, the importance and role of the tower require that the United States Coast Guard oversee and approve all maintenance of the tower. With the tower provided the necessary visual to ensure that ships don’t run aground, it is paramount that it remains in constant working order.

10. The Tower Sits Adjacent to The Coast Guard Station

As it turns out, the Coast Guard does not have to travel far to inspect the dependability and functionality of the tower, as the Coast Guard station sits directly adjacent to the lighthouse. The property on which both, the station and the lighthouse sit are deeded to Caswell Beach but operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.


Add Comment

Dynasty Season 3
Meet The Cast of Dynasty Season 3
Madam Secretary Season 6
What We’ll Miss Most About Madam Secretary
Fleabag
Why a Fleabag Season 3 Is Being Held Up for a While
Ghost Busters Cartoon
Real Ghostbusters Cartoon Gets an Awesome Stop Motion Tribute
Black Panther Director Doing a Bitter Root Adaptation Movie
Andy Garcia
The Five Best Andy Garcia Movies of His Career
Laurie Strode
Pretty Sure Laurie Strode Would be in a Mental Hospital if She Were a Real Person
Potential Proof That Tony Stark is Still Alive Comes to Light
Brett Cullen
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Brett Cullen
Freddy Moore
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Freddy Moore
Miranda Rae Mayo
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Miranda Rae Mayo
Keeya King
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Keeya King
Kite Man
In Case You Want to Know who Kite Man Is
Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles
The Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles Will Be Teaming Up
Venom Hulk
The Venom Hulk has Arrived and It’s As Awesome as It Sounds
Black Manta
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Black Manta
Super Anime
Check Out Mario & Luigi: Super Anime Brothers
Black Fox
What We Know about the Black Fox Anime Feature Film So Far
Golden Kamuy
Why You Should Be Watching Golden Kamuy
The Quintessential Quintuplets
Why You Should be Watching The Quintessential Quintuplets
Galaga
Baby Crocodiles Sound Exactly Like The Arcade Game Galaga
Why They Should Make “The Revenant” Into a Video Game
Swap
This Mario and Yoshi Body Swap is Really Freaky, Period
Roblox
How Roblox Grew To Over 100 Million Active Users