to top - (Park Service figures conflict) either 75 feet,
or 65 feet plus lantern room
to focal plane - 75 ft.
Type - 4th order Fresnel lens
distance - 14 miles (whether nautical or statute not specified
by any official source)
pattern - fixed, continuous, dusk to dawn
of lighthouse steps -No official information. One source
states "about 100 steps".
to public to climb - No. (Keeper's Quarters and yard inside
fence are off limits. Visitors can walk in a narrow corridor
along a fence past the Keeper's Quarters between the street
and the lighthouse. Approximately four parking spaces are
available, with 15 min. parking limit.)
- Lighthouse Road past Albert Styron's Store, south side
of Silver Lake (harbor), Ocracoke Village.
Houses - Two-story brick Keeper's Quarters, not open to
- Beacon operation maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. Lighthouse
grounds controlled by National Park Service.
to get there - (1) From the ferry dock on Silver Lake take
the drive around the lake to the south side and turn left
onto Creek Drive just past "The Castle". Where
Creek Drive "Y's" into Lighthouse Road at Albert
Styron's Store, bear right. Drive slowly and look to the
right for the lighthouse- sits back off the road. (2) From
Hatteras ferry dock take NC 12 (the only road) south to
Ocracoke village. Turn left at the Island Inn onto Lighthouse
Road (last street on the left before you run into Silver
Lake). Continue just past Creek Drive on the right. Look
to the right for the lighthouse - sits back off the road.
goodness the Ocracoke Lighthouse is on Ocracoke. Any of the
"tall" lighthouses from North Carolina's amazing collection
of coastal beacons would look grossly out of place next to Silver
Lake. The crude asymmetrical construction of Ocracoke Lighthouse
left it lop-sided, with its top
and lantern room both off center (right photo). But, in
spite of it's imperfections, it is a pleasure
to behold. The diagonal
astragal design of the lantern windows gives its lantern
a visual charm quite apart from the "tall" lighthouses. The
shaped 4th Order Fresnel lens gives its beacon
a warmth that befits the Ocracoke community.
for a larger view
photos by Dennis Coz, Parkman Twp., OH)
is virtually no official information available from the National
Park Service or the US Coast Guard about the inside of
the lighthouse. It is not open for the public to see or climb.
Through acquaintances in Ocracoke village it has been learned
the lighthouse is opened on July 4th each year for people to
see inside, and sometimes scout troops or other special visitors
are permitted inside for a peek. Still, no one supposedly is
allowed to climb the stairs because they are in poor condition
and quite wobbly.
photos of the stairs (at left and right), show they are similar
in design to the stairs
of Cape Lookout Lighthouse, in that they look like fan blades
or propeller blades spiraling out from a central pole. The photo
of the stairs (left) provided by Dennis Coz of Parkman Twp.,
OH, is a great view of the metal steps as they spiral up inside
the thick-walled lighthouse. The photo at right, also from Dennis,
central pole and the thick wall at a window opening. Only
a few brackets, spaced randomly along the stairs, secure it
to the walls. This makes for a very rickety, wobbly installation,
particularly in light of the very slim central pole. It's no
wonder the public is not allowed to climb it.
is known about the Keeper's Quarters. It is not open to the
public, and is said to be used as a "private residence". Whether
this is for park service personnel or someone else is not indicated
in any park service information.
back 30 years: Things
change on the Outer Banks in 30 years. Hurricane Isabel's recent
rampage certainly put's the exclamation point on that bit of
news. So it's no surprise the Ocracoke Lighthouse grounds look
a bit different in 2003 than they did back in 1973.
sheds that stood along the fence in front of the Keeper's
Quarters (left side of photos at right) are now gone. Back then
visitors could walk through the yard, as evidenced by the photographer's
camera case left in the middle of the driveway. The second photo
shows a little more
detail of one of the old sheds.
first photo at right shows a view
framed by a large cedar tree taken from the east end of
the Keeper's Quarters. Now the grounds are closed, so you just
can't go take a photo from that spot any longer. Note the bush
between the old "oil storage shed" and the lighthouse base.
It's now gone. The shed
itself is different too. The yellow box is now gone, and
the door is no longer green. In spite of the changes around
it, Ocracoke Lighthouse itself looks just the same today as
it did then.
the 1973 photos above with these from 2003 (left & right). The
addition of a boardwalk (far right) affords handicapped access
and helps keep the grass from being trampled to death by the
crowds. The down side is that it greatly detracts from the aesthetics
of the view.
CarolinaOuterBanks.com has over 75 views of Ocracoke
Lighthouse, more than anywhere else on the web. Many views
are totally unique, and can only be found at CarolinaOuterBanks.com.
creator, photographer and
|(click any image for a larger view)
September, 2003, just after Hurricane Isabel, NOAA took aerial
photos of the entire Outer Banks, including all the lighthouses.
In this NOAA photo the board walk access to Ocracoke
Lighthouse runs along the fence from the road (lower right
corner) to the lighthouse (upper left corner). The red-roofed
building is the Keepers Quarters, but it and the entire property
is off limits to visitors. Standing water (long dark patch)
from Hurricane Isabel is evident along the boardwalk.
more photos of Ocracoke Lighthouse on page 2.
to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Page