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    Posted July 30, 2014 by
    Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The lure of lighthouses

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    The Beacons of the Outer Banks

    I recently spent time on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. One day, I took a drive down the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. There are three lighthouses located along the seashore – the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Bodie Island Lighthouse and the Ocracoke Lighthouse; I managed to make it to see the first two.

    The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (images #1 and #2) was my first stop. Construction of the present day lighthouse began in 1868 and it began operationing two years later. Measuring 194 feet from its base to the pinnacle of the tower, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse holds the distinction of being the tallest brick lighthouse in the US.

    Each of the three lighthouses has its own unique paint pattern to allow mariners to recognize them in daylight. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse got its famous black and white stripe spiral pattern in 1873.

    The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse still operates and is open during the day to the public. You can climb the 269 steps to the top. Located nearby are the keepers quarters.

    Located slightly off the main highway that runs down the length of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Bodie Island Lighthouse (images #3 and #4) is the least visited of the three. Driving through the woods, I wasn’t sure there was even a lighthouse here as it seem to be in a bit of a remote location. I did not expect too many people here and indeed, there were barely a handful of tourists wandering about compared to the crowd at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

    Construction of the Bodie Island Lighthouse was begun in 1871 and completed a year later. The large white building located to the right of the lighthouse is the keeper’s quarters.

    All three lighthouses currently operate under the auspices of the National Park Service. (http://www.nps.gov/caha/historyculture/cape-hatteras-light-station.htm)
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