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Bodie Island Light Station

July 10, 2019
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Bodie Island Light Station, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Nags Head, North Carolina

BODIE ISLAND LIGHT

Location: 4 MILES NORTH OF OREGON INLET
Station Established: 1847; 1859 & 1871 (restored)
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1872
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1954
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: TIMBER/GRANITE/RUBBLE
Construction Materials: BRICK/CAST IRON/STONE
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Height:    165-feet originally, 156-feet (existing third lighthouse)
Markings/Pattern: WHITE & BLACK BANDS W/BLACK LANTERN
Characteristics:    White 2.5 seconds on, 2.5 seconds off, 2.5 seconds on, and 22.5 seconds eclipse with 2 cycles each minute.
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL 1872
Foghorn:    None

Historical Information:

  • 1847: The contractor on the first project was Mr. Francis Gibbons, of Baltimore, who would later become a prominent lighthouse builder on the West Coast. Cost was $5,000.00 but problems with location and design of the tower caused a ten-year delay in construction. The tower was highly unstable and soon after it was completed, it began to lean toward the sea.
  • 1859: By 1859, the Bodie Island Lighthouse was deteriorated and the Lighthouse Board secured a $25,000. Appropriation from Congress to erect a new tower. This new tower was 80 ft and its lantern was a third-order Fresnel lens.
  • 1861: In the fall of 1861, Confederate troops stacked explosives inside the tower and blew it apart.
  • 1871: A third Lighthouse was completed in 1871 with material left over from construction of a new tower at Cape Hatteras. Tower was 156 ft with a first-order Fresnel lens that made its light visible from 19 miles at sea. The Bodie tower is painted with white and black horizontal bands.