At Hatteras, Historic Light Goes Dark

April 07, 1999

The beacon atop the nation's tallest lighthouse is out for the first time since 1950 as movers prepare to move the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse inland. The 208-foot-tall structure with its barber- pole striping is being moved 2,900 feet to preserve it from the Atlantic Ocean, which has crept within 120 feet. Aside from light bulbs burning out, the beacon has operated continuously since 1950. The beacon once helped sailors navigate the often treacherous waters off Cape Hatteras, N.C., known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." It is seldom used today because of the availability of high-tech navigation aids. The $9.8 million move is expected to be completed by September, said Rob Bolling, a National Park Service ranger and historian at the lighthouse visitors center.

Pub Date: 04/07/99

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