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Hatteras Inlet, NC  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Hatteras Inlet Lighthouse

1857 – The water over the bar at Hatteras inlet, which lies between Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke, has been gradually improving in depth for several years, and has reached such a depth, and the facilities for entering it are such, that it is becoming an important place of refuge as well as of ingress and egress to the many coasting vessels passing that part of the coast. A small light to guide to that inlet is said to be much needed, and “Oliver’s Reef,” or the “Swash,” has been named as a suitable position for it. Although it is believed it would be much better economy to erect proper lights on iron pile foundations, if required, for either of those localities, at a cost of about $10,000, than to place and maintain a light-vessel, yet should Congress so direct, the Ocracoke, or Nine Feet shoal light-vessel might be removed to one of those points, greatly to the benefit of the coasting trade passing and entering that inlet.

1862 – By act of Congress approved June 20, 1860, an appropriation of $5,000 was made for the erection of a beacon light at a suitable point at or near Cape Hatteras inlet. The requisite iron and wood work for this structure has been prepared at Wilmington, Delaware; a working party was sent to erect it; the materials were all safely landed at the site selected, and on the same night a storm of almost unparalleled severity swept them away, so that scarcely a vestige remained. Such of the materials as could be recovered (being such things as would be useful to the army) were sold to the quartermaster's department at Hatteras inlet, and the amount, together with the balance remaining of the appropriation, it is believed, will be sufficient to replace, in a measure, the lost structure.

1870 – Hatteras Inlet, entrance to the sounds of North Carolina.—A light was authorized March 3, 1859, to be established at Hatteras Inlet, the entrance to the sounds of North Carolina, but it was not commenced before the breaking out of the rebellion, and afterward it could not be built. This is at present the best inlet leading to and from the sounds of North Carolina, with which there is a very large trade. This inlet is 14 miles southwest from Cape Hatteras, within the range of the influence of that cape upon the weather, and as the channel is narrow and only marked by buoys, it is dangerous to attempt to enter or pass out at night for want of a small light. An estimate has been submitted for the erection of a suitable light at this place.

1871 – Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.—A Light was authorized March 3, 1859, to be established at the Hatteras Inlet, the entrance to the sounds of North Carolina, but it was not commenced before the breaking out of the rebellion, and afterward it could not be built. This is at present the best inlet leading to and from the sounds of North Carolina, with which there is a very large trade. This inlet is fourteen miles southwest from Cape Hatteras, within the range of the influence of that cape upon the weather, and as the channel is narrow and only marked by buoys, it is dangerous to attempt to enter or pass out at night for want of a small Light. The estimated cost of this Light-house is $18,000, for which an appropriation is asked.

1873 – Hatteras Inlet, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.—The want of a light at this entrance to the sounds of North Carolina has long been felt. It is the best inlet leading to and from those sounds, through which there is a large trade. Vessels bound to sea through this inlet have no guide to indicate to them at night their proximity to the entrance. With steamers it is not of so much importance, as they can regulate their time to arrive off the inlet at daylight, but the sailing-vessels must take advantage of the wind. At night they dare not approach the inlet, as a dangerous shoal, called Oliver's Reef, makes out into the sound, the position of which cannot be accurately determined, except by having it marked by a light-house. It is designed to place the light-house provided for by act approved March 3, 1873, on Oliver's Reef, north side of the entrance to Hatteras Inlet. An examination by the engineer of the district has been made, and the work will be commenced without unnecessary delay. The lighthouse will be on screw-piles, and show a fixed red light.

1874 – Hatteras Inlet, Pamlico Sound, Worth Carolina.—After some delay, the title to, and jurisdiction over, the site of this light-house were obtained from the State of North Carolina. Borings to determine the character of the soil on which the light-house will rest were made in January, and it was found that the shoal was clean, hard sand to a considerable depth. Plans and specifications were prepared, and proposals invited for the construction of the metal-work. The contract was awarded in March, and the work completed and delivered in May. The construction of the frame-work of the light-house was carried on and completed at the Lazaretto depot, Baltimore, Md. The light-house material will be transported to the site in July, and it is expected to complete the work and exhibit the light in the course of two or three months; the light will be of the fifth order.

1875 – On the shoal known as Oliver’s Reef, on the north side of the entrance to Hatteras Inlet from Pamlico Sound. Lighted: October 1, 1874.

1875 – Hatteras Inlet, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.—The material for this light-house and a working force for its erection were shipped to the station early in July, 1874, and the erection of the structure immediately commenced. The work was finished in September and the light exhibited October 1, 1874. The light-house consists of a frame dwelling, square in plan, resting on a foundation of five solid wrought-iron piles, eight inches in diameter, which are screwed vertically into the shoal to a distance of about ten feet, the keeper's dwelling being surmounted by a lantern of the fourth order.

1899 – Hatteras Inlet, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.—The fog-bell machine was replaced and a new floor was laid under the bell weights. New model fourth-order lamps were installed. Minor repairs were made.

1901 – Hatteras Inlet, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.—On October 8 the lens was replaced by a new one showing a flashing red light every 20 seconds. Various repairs were made.

1904 – Hatteras Inlet, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.—On February 18, 1904, the characteristic of this light was changed from flashing red to fixed red. A fuel platform was suspended under the house by iron hangers. A walkway was laid from the ladder landing to the platform, one end of which was bolted to the platform and the other hung to a brace of the substructure. Various repairs were made.

1914 – William G. Rollinson, keeper, and Barney F. Peel, assistant, rendered assistant to grounded schooner with crew of 3 men. Occurred on March 6, 1914.

1915 – W. G. Rollinson, keeper, Hatteras Inlet Light Station, N. C., rendered assistance to fishing boats in distress, each having 1 man aboard. Happened on November 12, 1915.

1916 – W. G. Rollinson, keeper, Hatteras Inlet Light Station, N. C., pulled disabled Steamship N.G. Walestein, George K. Rollinson owner, off Hatteras Reefs, towed to harbor and landed passengers. Happened on Jan 12, 1916.

1917 – On July 12, W.G. Rollinson, Keeper of Hatteras Inlet Light Station N.C., towed to harbor a party in a disabled fishing boat, and on the same day went to the assistance of a fisherman who had gone adrift in a skiff and towed him to his motor boat.

1918 – William G. Rollinson, keeper, assisted in floating schooner; obtained medical treatment for member of crew. Happened on January 26, 1918.

1918 – On February 2 the Department commended Cr.R. Austin, assistant keeper of Hatteras Inlet Light Station, N.C., for valuable service in maintaining the light and fog bell bunder hazardous conditions due to floating ice.

1919 – W.G. Rollinson, keeper, rendered assistance to disabled motor boat containing 2 men, and floated U.S. mail boat with 5 men aboard.

1920 – The act of March 28, 1918, appropriated $150,000 for rebuilding, repairing, and reestablishing aids damaged by storm and ice, from which $100,000 was allotted to the fifth district. The act of November 16,1918, appropriated $300,000 additional for the same purpose, from which $284,000 was allotted the fifth district. The restoration of light stations in the fifth district damaged by ice floes during the winter of 1917-18 was continued during the past fiscal year by depositing riprap at nine light stations, building up existing protective works near or around these stations, or constructing new barriers or ice breakers, and by constructing new foundations and inserting bracing under several screw pile lighthouses, as follows: At Hatteras Inlet Light Station, Pamlico Sound, N. C, the underwater bracing carried away by ice was replaced.

1922 – W.G. Rollinson, keeper of Hatteras Inlet Light Station, M.C., on August 20, assisted in floating the sloop Little Pearl, which had fouled its anchor and gone ashore.

1922 – In December, Assistant Superintendent left aboard the tender Juniper to install an acetylene illuminating apparatus at Hatteras Inlet Lighthouse. The fog signal was discontinued.

1923 – bell operated by clockwork discontinued.

1923 – changed illuminant to acetylene.

1926 - By the installation of acetylene in lieu of oil lights at Hatteras Inlet and Gull Shoal Light Stations, four positions of keeper have been discontinued and three positions of lamplighter. These two lights and six minor acetylene lights and three minor oil lights have been given in charge of the three keepers of Bluff Shoal Light Station where an additional keeper has been allowed in connection with the formation of this group.

Keepers:

  • Head: Nelson P. Angell (1874 – 1887), Lazarus G. Hinnant (1887 – 1888), A.J. Simpson (1888 – 1897), Henry B. Spencer (1897 – 1903), John B. Jennett (1903 – 1911), John B. Quidley (1911), William G. Rollinson (1911 – at least 1922).
  • Assistant: Louis C. Angell (1874 – 1885), Benjamin F. Whedbee (1884 – 1886), Barney F. Peel (1886 – 1887), George T. Burrus (1887), William R. Austin (1888 – 1891), William Harrison (1891 – 1892), Levin B. Austin (1892 – 1894), Eulalie Simpson (1894 – 1896), John B. Jennett (1897 – 1899), Walter L. Barnett (1899), Alpheus B. Willis (1899 – 1901), E. L. Styron (1901 – 1903), W.S. Harrison (1903 – 1905), Arthur Midgett (1905), W. S. Harrison (1905 – 1906), Joseph M. Burrus (1906 – 1912), Barney F. Peel (1912 – at least 1915), Crawford R. Austin (at least 1917 – at least 1919).

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