Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Buxton, North Carolina | C.1803

Photo Credit: Wendy Quiroa

The waters off Cape Hatteras are so treacherous that they are known as the “graveyard of the Atlantic.” There is no reliable tally of the many ships wrecked here, but estimates exceed two thousand.

When the warm waters of the Gulf Stream meet the Arctic waters of the Labrador Current here, the results are often violent. Heavy fog, quick-forming storms with sudden thirty-foot waves, and an ever-shifting sea floor create truly hazardous navigational challenges.

As early as 1794, Congress appropriated $44,000—then an exorbitant sum—to build a warning lighthouse on the headland of Cape Hatteras.

Over the next two centuries, the sea eroded the coastline, and in 1999 the lighthouse was moved to safer ground 2,900 feet from the water’s edge. The 200-foot, 5,000-ton Cape Hatteras Lighthouse became one of the tallest, heaviest masonry structures ever moved.

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One thought on “Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

  1. no-reply says:
    November 11, 2022

    Archive Community Comments: @thechrishatcher - Home! I remember when they moved it when I was kid one of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed @harborhouseseafood - Make sure to visit Hatteras Village, about 10 miles south of the lighthouse to see our colorful fishing boats!

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