Bodie Island Light

Bodie Island Light

Infobox Lighthouse

caption = Bodie Island Lighthouse
location = convert|4|mi|km|0 north of Oregon Inlet, Near Nags Head, North Carolina
coordinates = coord|35.8185|N|75.5633|W|region:US_type:landmark|name=Bodie Island Light|display=inline
yearlit = 1872
automated = 1940
electric lamp = 1932
foundation = Timber, Granite, Rubble
construction = Brick, Cast Iron, Stone
shape = Conical
height = convert|156|ft|m|0
marking = White and black bands with black lantern house
lens = First order Fresnel lens, 1872
range = convert|18|nmi|km|0
characteristic = White 2.5 seconds on, 2.5 seconds off, 2.5 seconds on, and 22.5 seconds eclipse with 2 cycles each minute
admiralty = J2386
USCG = 2-0590
The current Bodie Island Lighthouse is the third that has stood in this vicinity of Bodie Island on the Outer Banks in North Carolina and was built in 1872. It stands 156 feet tall and is located on the Roanoke Sound side of the first island that is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The lighthouse is just south of Nag's Head, a few miles before Oregon Inlet. It is currently not climbable by the public, but plans are in place to make it safe for climbing.


The preceding Bodie Island lighthouses actually stood south of Oregon Inlet on Pea Island in an area now under water. The first was built in 1847 and then abandoned in 1859 due to a poor foundation.The second, built in 1859, was destroyed in 1861 by retreating Confederate troops who feared it would be used as a Union observation post during the Civil War. The third and current lighthouse, with its original first order Fresnel lens, was completed in 1872. In 1932, the light was upgraded to an electric lamp by using oil-fueled electrical generators. It remained manned until 1940, when lighthouse was fully automated. In 1953, the generators were disconnected and power was supplied from the commercial electric grid.

While some people (including North Carolinians not from the Outer Banks) pronounce the name with a long "o" sound, it is traditionally pronounced as "body." This is derived from the original name of the area, which was "Bodies Island", after the Body family from whom the land was purchased. Folklore would have you believe it is due to the number of dead sailors washed ashore from this portion of the Atlantic Ocean, which is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Local gift shops sell maps of the shipwrecks on the ocean floor. An impressive array of ships have been sunk due to storms, shoals, and German U-boats in World War II.

This lighthouse appears in the background of the 1963-1964 Federal Duck Stamp. [1963.]


Quote box2
width = 85%
border = 4px
align = center
bgcolor = #cce5ff
title_bg =
title_fnt =
title = Historic Light Station Information - NORTH CAROLINA
halign = left
* 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 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 - The Bodie Island Lighthouse had deteriorated and the Lighthouse Board secured a $25,000 appropriation from Congress to erect a new tower. This new tower was 80 ft (24 m). 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 partially with material left over from construction of a new tower at Cape Hatteras. The tower was 156 ft (48 m). with a first order Fresnel lens that made its light visible for 18 nautical miles (33 km). The Bodie tower is painted with white and black horizontal bands.
salign = right
source = United States Coast Guard [Historic.]



* [ 1963-1964 Federal Duck Stamp by Edward J. Bierly] . U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
* [ Historic Light Station Information and Photography - NORTH CAROLINA] . U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved 2008-08-16.


External links

* [ The Bodie Island Lighthouse, National Park Service]
* [ USCG site]
* []
* [ Bodie Island Light on Federal Duck Stamp]

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