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Orton's Point, NC  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Orton's Point Lighthouse

1848 – Appropriated by act of Congress for a beacon light at Ortons Point, Cape Fear River, N.C., August 14, 1848, $3,500.

1849 - SIR: In continuation of the report which I had the honor to submit to the honorable Committee on Commerce of the Senate, under date of the 15th December, 1848, in relation to the execution of the law of the 14th August, 1848, entitled "An act making appropriations for lighthouses, light-boats, buoys, &c, and providing for the erection and establishment of the same," and which report was printed by order of the Senate at the special session in March, 1849, and numbered one, I now proceed to detail what has been done under the several appropriations, beginning with:

For a light-house at Orton's point, on the same river, $3,500. This light-house, also, was to have been built under a contract for $3,280, and to be completed at the same time as that at Campbell's island.


This is the first light passed in ascending the Cape Fear river, after leaving the light-vessel. It is a small reflector light, on the dwelling of the keeper. The whole building bears evidence of bad construction, and a most injudicious location. The water at ordinary half-tides, washes the walls (of brick) of the dwelling. It bears marks of premature decay.

Eagle or Big Island light is very similar to the one on Orton's point. The same defects are apparent. The location, if possible, is worse than the Orton point light. The exterior bears evidence of rapid deterioration.

The light proposed for the upper jettee is quite unnecessary. Some of the lights already established are of doubtful utility, in this vicinity.

1855 – Keeper Zachariah Jackson $350

1867 – Orton's Point—Has not been re-established. The station requires a new lantern, new sash and doors, plastering repaired, and breakwater in front to protect the site. The necessary estimate is submitted.

1868 – Orton's Point.—The materials for re-establishing this station have been procured and are stored at Wilmington, North Carolina.

1873 – Orton’s Point, west bank of Cape Fear River, North Carolina.—

There was a light formerly at this place, which was discontinued during the war, and has not been re-established. An inspection of the chart will almost of itself show its value. For some distance above and below this point the river is quite wide, the banks are low, and shoals extend from the eastern shore about three-quarters of the distance across the river. There is good water close up to the west bank, and vessels going either up or down stream would have little difficulty in navigating at night if there was a light here to guide them.
The engineer of the district made a personal examination of this abandoned station in March. The light was formerly exhibited from a lantern on a keeper's dwelling, which had been built close up to the water's edge. The house is now in ruins. The walls and a portion of the flooring remain; but as the house was built on wooden piles, some of them have decayed, others have been eaten by the worms, and they no longer form a reliable support. It would cost more to repair the old house than to build a new one. It is, therefore, recommended that an appropriation be made to re-establish this light by building a new light-house on cast-iron piles close to the site of the old one.
The material in the latter can be used as a rip-rap protection to the shore, which has washed away somewhat under the abrasive action of the water. The light should be of the fifth order, illuminating an arc of 220°. The estimated cost of such a structure at or near this point is $15,000, for which an appropriation is asked.

Keepers: Monrtesquim W. Campbell (1850), Zachariah Jackson (1850 – 1853), John A.P. Millson (1853 – 1855), Zachariah Jackson (1855 – at least 1859).

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