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Croatan, NC  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Croatan Lighthouse

1857 – All the light-vessels in this district, located in the waters of North Carolina, are very old, (with one exception, and that one a badly built contract vessel,) all of them requiring frequent and expensive repairs, and some of them are in such a condition from age as to render it almost certain that they must be rebuilt at no distant day, or their places occupied by iron screw-pile foundation lights, similar to those already erected at two points in those waters. The comparative expense in first cost has been shown to be greatly in favor of the permanent light, and that of annual support and maintenance of the permanent very small in comparison with that for the light-vessels. No engineering difficulties are apprehended in the substitution of permanent lights at the sites of those light-vessels, should Congress authorize their erection. The light-vessels which could be changed gradually to permanent lights are Crany island, Neuse river, Harbor island bar, Roanoke river, Brant island shoal, Croatan Sound, Long shoal, and Royal shoal.

1859 – Borings have been made at the stations of the several light-vessels in Virginia and North Carolina, with a view to the substitution of screwpile light-houses for the light-vessels. The changes will be made as rapidly as the appropriations for the support of the light-vessel service will admit. The general condition of the light-vessels in the district is not so good as it should be. Several of them are old and in a state of rapid decay.

1860 – Parties are now engaged in putting down screw-pile light-houses in lieu of light-vessels at Croatan and Long Point shoals. The work will be completed during the coming winter.

1862 – The light-vessel stations in the bounds of North Carolina have been marked by suitable vessels showing temporary lights, viz: Brant Island shoal, Royal shoal, Harbor island, Long shoal, and Roanoke river, and steps are now in progress for the early re-establishment of the light-house at Wade's Point, Croatan, Roanoke marshes, Pamlico Point, northwest point of Royal shoal, and Ocracoke.

1863 – The light-houses at Roanoke marshes, northwest point of Royal Shoal, Croatan, Cape Lookout, and Ocracoke have been refitted and the lights re-exhibited.

1866 – Re-establishment of Lighthouse at Croatan, – North Carolina. The lighthouse at Croatan, between Croatan and Albemarle Sounds, has been restored, and will be lighted up for the first time on the 1st December, 1866. It is 35 feet high, and visible at the distance of 10 miles.

1867 – The light-houses at Wade's Point and Croatan, the superstructures of which were burnt by our own troops, and that at Pamplico Point, which had been extinguished by the rebels, have been restored and are now lighted.

1868 – Croatan.—Iron-work of foundation painted two coats; also outside of dwelling, and lantern inside and out; new glass set where required; a new cooking stove and fixtures—also materials for boat falls—supplied.

1869 – Croatan.—Screw-pile light-house; painted iron work, deck, lantern, balustrade, and entire outside of house; a new sail and material for boat's falls supplied.

1882 – Croatan, between Croatan and Albemarle Sounds, North Carolina.—A new fog-bell was put up at this station in place of a defective one. The roof was repaired.

1883 – Croatan, between Croatan and Albemarle Sounds, North Carolina.— New floors were laid in the kitchen and hall, and new sills in the front and rear door-ways; 400 feet of new decking were laid; a new stand was made for the water-tank; a broken tension-brace was repaired; bolts, washers, and clamps for securing the girders and sills were made, and the lantern-deck was retinned. The station is now in good condition.

1885 – Croatan, between Croatan and Albemarle Sounds, Pamplico Sound, North Carolina.—An appropriation was made on July 7, 1884, "for removing the Croatan light-house to a point where it will be of more value to navigators." The light-house consists of an old and decayed wooden dwelling upon a screw-pile foundation. The dwelling cannot be taken down and rebuilt, and to move it bodily would cost, including the appliances which must be purchased, several times as much as will be required for a new and much better dwelling. The foundation, if moved, must first be taken up and brought to some place where the iron work can be reforged, the corrosion being so great that it cannot be taken apart and removed without much cutting and breaking of parts. The cost of moving the light-house being vastly more expensive and less effective than to construct a new one, the latter method was proposed. Plans and specifications were prepared and material purchased for the foundation and superstructure. The latter was constructed at the Lazaretto depot, Baltimore, and the metal-work was delivered, when further operations were suspended, owing to a decision by the Commissioner of Customs that the money appropriated under the foregoing clause could not be applied to the construction of a new light-house. Work has therefore been suspended pending further Congressional action.

1887 – Croatan, between Croatan and Albemarle Sounds, North Carolina.—By act approved July 10,1886, Congress made the appropriation "for removing Croatan light-house to a point where it will be of more value to navigators" available for the erection of a new light-house at the proposed point. The necessary materials for the superstructure, and the lantern and water-tanks, were purchased under contract in March, and the framing of the house was commenced at the Lazaretto depot. New oak levers were made for screwing down the piles. The iron superstructure was already on hand, having been purchased in 1885. The wood-work was completed in May and prepared for shipment. The material of the working platform and the iron foundation were taken by the tender Jessamine to Long Point Station, N. C., early in June, and landed there until the completion of the necessary repairs at North River light-station, in the latter part of the month. Operations were commenced at the site on the 21st. The positions of the piles were indicated, the platform was placed in position, the ironwork was transferred to it from the scows, and the screwing down of the piles commenced. All the piles were in place on the last day of the month.

1888 – Croatan, between, Croatan and Albemarle Sounds, North Carolina.—At the date of the last annual report all the iron screw-piles had been set. The erection of the iron-work and the frame superstructure were carried forward rapidly and on July 30, 1887, the light-house was entirely completed. In the mean time the lens had been transferred from the old structure so that the light could be shown from the new light-house on July 15, 1887, the date announced in the notice to mariners of the change. After the removal of the lens the old house was torn down. The present light-house is a square frame structure painted white, standing upon five iron screw-piles securely braced. The iron foundation is painted brown. A fog bell placed on the west side of the house is, during thick or foggy weather, struck at intervals of fifteen seconds.

1891 - 47.5. Croatan, between Croatan and Albemarle Sounds, North Carolina.— In June arrangements were made for the introduction of a red sector into this light to mark, in conjunction with another in the Roanoke Marshes light, the Fulker Island obstructions in Croatan Sound. This improvement will take effect July 30,1891.

1899 – Croatan, between Croatan and Albemarle sounds, North Carolina.—New model fourth-order lamps were installed and a new landing ladder was put up to replace one carried away by the ice.

1915 - Isaac C. Meekins, assistant keeper, Croatan Light Station, Rescued keeper from drowning. Peter G. Gallop, keeper, Croatan Light Station, etc., N. C. Happened on Sept 7, 1915.

1916 – On May 20, 1916, one of two barges in tow of the tug Sarah was in collision with Croatan Light Station, N. O, smashing the station boat. Efforts are being made to have the owners of the tug assume the cost of the damage, estimated at $150.

1917 – On January 6, 1917, Croatan Light Station, N. C, was collided with by the tug Curtin with four barges in tow, causing damage to the light station in the estimated amount of $120, which the owner of the tug has agreed to pay for.

1918 – I.C., Meekins, keeper, performed duty faithfully during hazardous ice conditions.

1918 – I.C. Meekins, keeper, Croatan Light Station, rescued woman from drowning and assisted in rescuing 3 other persons. Happened on Aug 24, 1918.

1919 – C.C. Midgett, assistant keeper, rendered assistance to disabled motor boat with one occupant aboard. Happened on May 10, 1919.

1928 – T. H. Baum, keeper of Croatan Light Station, N. C., assisted a man whose motor boat was disabled near the station.

1930 - T. H. Baum, keeper of Croatan Light Station, N. C., rendered assistance on December 2 to a stranded fisherman whose boat became disabled in the vicinity of Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse; also on December 9, he rendered assistance to another fisherman who was stranded on account of engine trouble.

1934 – Improve illuminating apparatus. The apparatus has been ordered. Project 20 percent completed. Cost to June 30, 1934, $2,793.


  • Head: T. A. Dough (1861 – ), D. S. Dowdy (at least 1863 – at least 1865), Willis Tillett (1866 – 1867), Moses D. Lane (1867 – 1886), James F. Norman (1886 – 1890), Ephraim Meekins, Jr. (1890 – 1900), William W. Midgett (1900 – 1902), Charles W. Pugh (1902 – 1907), Jabez W. Burfoot (1907 – 1911), Peter G. Gallop (1911 – 1916), Isaac C. Meekins (1916 – 1919), Ephraim Meekins (at least 1921 – 1927), Thomas H. Baum (1927 – at least 1931), Oscar H. Daniels (at least 1939).
  • Assistant: W. Meekins (1861 – ), William A. Evans (at least 1863), Charles H. Dowdy (1864), William Gard (1864 – ), Moses DeLane (1867), William Gard (1867), S.B. Tillett (1867 – 1873), Sarah Ann Lane (1874 – 1876), Charles B. Daniel (1876 – 1883), Courtland B. Bliven (1883 – 1886), John Shannon (1886 – 1887), Ephraim Meekins, Jr. (1887 – 1890), Johnson P. Reed (1890), William W. Midgett (1890 – 1900), Arthur Midgett (1900 – 1903), Thomas H. Baum (1903 – 1905), Joseph M. Burrus (1905 – 1906), William S. Harrison (1906 – 1910), William H. Etheridge (1910 – 1913), Oscar H. Daniels (1913), Isaac C. Meekins (1913 – 1916), Peer G. Gallop (1916 – ), Christopher C. Midgett (at least 1917 – at least 1927), M. B. Tolson (at least 1930).

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