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1st picture is from the source link below. 2nd picture is from http://seasidevacations.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/cape-hatteras-lighthouse.jpg. 3rd picture is from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Cape_Hatteras_lighthouse_North_Carolina.jpg.
And so we come to the final stop on my Tour of must see buildings of North Carolina! The most famous lighthouse of them all in America. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse! The most visited, the most famous, and the most historic lighthouse on the North Carolina and East Coast Coast. Located on Hatteras Island, the lighthouse stands a monstrous 200 feet (about 61 meters) tall and has a light range of 28 miles! The lighthouse was built in 1870 and quickly became the most important lighthouse on the eastern seaboard of the US. It became the most important because it helps warn ships about the deadly Diamond Shoals part of the Outer Banks, otherwise known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. It`s distinctive spiral paint job allows it to be identified by just about any person in the US... well those who know about a few lighthouses. After WWII it was discovered the Germans had planed and tried on several occasions to blow up the Lighthouse making the Outer Banks unusable to Allied shipping, however none of the plans worked and the lighthouse was never touched. Sadly off it shores dozens of ships fell pray to the deadly U-boats until Sub hunting and aerial surveillance put a stop it it. During the 1980`s and early 1990`s it became apparent the the shoreline in front of the the lighthouse had gotten to close to the lighthouse and no amount of sand dredging would be able to to shore up the shore (no pun intended) enough to keep the lighthouse stable. So in 1998 a plan was put into place to move the lighthouse and the two keeper`s cottages safely away from the quickly eroding shoreline. During 1999 and 2000, in what became know as the "2000 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement" the lighthouse and both the keeper`s cottages were successfully moved half a mile back from the shore line. The move was one of the biggest single building moves in American history and was also the tallest building move ever. The larger of the two cottages serves as the "Hatteras Island Visitor Center and Museum of the Sea." It is one of the most extensive museums dedicated to lighthouses in all of America. It also serves as a museum about the history of the Outer Banks and of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The smaller of the two cottages serves as a gateway to the lighthouse. Since the move, the lighthouse, for the 1st time in 2 decades, was made completely open to the public. Meaning you can now climb its restructured stairs to the top and look out over it`s observation gallery over Hatteras Island and the Atlantic Ocean. On the old foundation of the lighthouse is a ring of granite stones with the names of all the lighthouse keepers who took care of the lighthouse until 1950 when it was automated. So If you want to see the most famous lighthouse in America then you can to come to Hatteras Island, North Carolina to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and PLEASE be sure to stop by the ring of granite stones and pay your respects for the men who served in her too!
And so ends another one of my tours of my Home State of North Carolina. My Next tour will start on Thursday or Friday and will focus on the War memorials and battle grounds of North Carolina. Look forward to it!