Ocracoke Lighthouse is located on Ocracoke Island. Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, lost his head, literally, on Ocracoke & is rumored to haunt the island looking for it. The first Ocracoke Lighthouse was built in 1803 on Shell Castle Island. It was destroyed by lightning in 1818. It was replaced in 1823 by the present lighthouse in Ocracoke Village. In 1861 Confederate soilders destroyed the fourth-order Fresnel lens. A new lens was placed in the tower in 1864 and it is the oldest lighthouse that is still operating on the North Carolina coast. Only the grounds are open to the public.

We loved Ocracoke Island. Once we were on the island the lighthouse was easily accessible. It is fenced in with the lighthouse keeper's house, which is a private residence. There is an old graveyard behind the lighthouse that was very interesting.

Ocracoke Island can be reached by ferry. There are three ferries you can take to Ocracoke Island. One leaves Cedar Island call (800) BYFERRY for schedule and rate information; call (919) 225-3551 for reservations. Another ferry operates out of Swan Quarter off US 264, call (919) 926-1111 for information. A free ferry run by the state and leaving every half-hour during the summer links Hatteras Island with Ocracoke Island. For more information contact the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, route 1, box 675, Manteo, NC 27954.

More pictures of Ocracoke Lighthouse
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Copyright 1998 G. L. Marler and J. A. Marler