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North River, NC  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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North River Lighthouse

For the erection of a light-house at the mouth of North River (Albemarle Sound), in the State of North Carolina, June 20, 1860, $10,000.

1860 – Operations are in progress for the completion of Cape Charles lighthouse, and for building the light-house at the mouth of North river, (Albemarle sound,) provided for by act of Congress.

1865 – An appropriation was made June 20, 1860, for a light-house at the mouth of North river, Albemarle sound, North Carolina, but because that region was open to raids by the enemy it was not deemed prudent to take any steps towards building the structure, and the appropriation was suffered to lapse into the treasury. The necessity for a light-house at that point having been again strongly urged upon the board, an estimate to cover the cost is submitted.

1866 – For a new lighthouse at the mouth of North River, Albemarle Sound, April 7, 1866, $15,000.

1866 – Lighthouse at Mouth of North River, – Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. A screw-pile lighthouse has been erected on the bar at the mouth of North River, Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. It stands in 3 Ύ feet water, mean tide, and distant about 300 yards to the westward of the channel across the bar, as indicated by the three buoys in range. It is 35 feet high, and visible at the distance of 10 miles. It will be lighted for the first time on the evening of 1st December, 1866.

1868 – North river.—Iron-work of foundation painted two coats; also lantern inside and out; new glass set where required; new cooking stove and fixtures; also materials for boat sails supplied.

1869 – North River.—Screw-pile light-house; iron work painted; also, outside of house, lantern deck, roof, and balustrade.

1873 – North River, on a shoal at the mouth of North River, North Carolina.—This station was supplied with a fog-bell and machine to strike it at intervals of 5 seconds.

1887 – North River, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—Extensive repairs were made in June. The four main sills of the house, which were rotten, were replaced by new ones; the radial beams were scarfed; the main joists were removed and replaced by new ones; four new yellow pine facias were put on; the railing and decking of the old main gallery were taken off and a new gallery was built; the shingle roof was removed and a tin roof substituted with new down-spouts and gutters; the lantern deck and gallery posts were repaired; all doors and windows were put in order, and the new work painted. The station is now in excellent condition.

1887 — North River Bar, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—The Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army, in his Annual Report, page 160, says:

An examination was also made of North River Bar, which can be best and most economically improved by dredging a straight channel through it 7,150 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 9.4 feet deep at ordinary low water. This will require the removal of 37,847 cubic yards of material, measured in place, and the construction of two range-lights (gas beacons) to murk the channel.

An appropriation having been made for cutting a channel through the bar, the Board recommends that an appropriation of $2,000 be made for placing gas beacons to make the channel available at night.

1888 — North River Bar, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—The following recommendation of the Board in its last annual report is renewed:
The Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army, in his Annual Report, page 160, says: “An examination was also made of North River Bar, which can be best and most economically improved by dredging a straight channel through it 7,150 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 9.4 feet deep at ordinary low water. This will require the removal of 37,847 cubic yards of material, measured in place, and the construction of two range lights (gas beacons) to mark the channel.” An appropriation having been made for cutting a channel through the bar, the Board recommends that an appropriation of $2,000 be made for placing gas beacons to make the channel available at night.

1889 — North River Bar, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—Owing to lack of funds and other difficulties, the United States Engineers have dredged a channel only 40 feet wide, instead of150 feet, as recommended, through this bar. Even with a channel thus restricted navigation would be much benefited were there range-lights and buoys to mark it properly. The recommendation made in the Board's annual reports for the last two years for an appropriation of $2,000 for the establishment of gas-beacons is therefore renewed. Their erection will save the expense of maintaining the present light at North River, which will then be unnecessary.

1891 — North River Bar, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—By the act approved on March 3, 1801, an appropriation of $2,000 was made for establishing lighted beacons to guide through the dredged channels at this bar. These will be placed as soon as practicable.

1892 – North River Bar, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—Plans for the range beacons to guide over this bar have been made. They will be built during the coming winter.

1893 – North River Bar, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—The range beacons to guide over this bar were erected in March, and on the 23d of the month the lights were exhibited for the first time.
The front beacon consists of an iron column embracing and resting on a wooden pile and provided with a screw. It supports a disk holding three gas cylinders which in turn uphold the lantern. The focal plane is 19 feet above the water. The rear beacon is composed of three sleeve-columns set upon wooden piles and capped with a triangular iron plate which supports the gas cylinders. Above these rises an iron column upon which the lantern is placed. The focal plane of this structure is 35 feet above the water. The beacons are about three-quarters of a mile apart and show fixed white lights from lens lanterns.

1896 – North River, entrance to Pamlico River, North Carolina.—In March a landing platform was built under the house. Iron boat davits were substituted for wooden ones, and various repairs were made.

1899 – North River, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—New model fifth-order lamps were installed. Various repairs were made.

1900 – North River, entrance to North River, North Carolina.—New model fifth-order lamps were installed. Various repairs were made.

1904 – North River, Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. — A water tank was put in place. The old fog-bell apparatus was taken down and a new machine, was substituted. Various repairs were made.

1918 – Ice froze around the foundation of the lighthouse in early 1918, and broke the foundation piles. According to a caption on a March 26, 1918 photograph of the lighthouse: “This structure was broken from the supporting piles, moved about 3' SW and dropped on the bottom. It is now about 6' lower than before the break.” On February 7, 1918, North River light was reestablished.

1918 – George R. Putnam, Commissioner of Lighthouse, statements on September 5, 1918.
NORTH RIVER LIGHT STATION, N. C.

Mr. SISSON. For the North River Light Station, N. C., you have an estimate of $36,148 for rebuilding, gas buoy, and lens lantern lights for range. Was that destroyed, or is that a new project?

Mr. PUTNAM. North River Light and the next in the list, Wade Point, are two structures, both in Albemarle Sound. They have been very badly damaged.

Mr. SISSON. Are you using them now? Are they being used now for lights?

Mr. PUTNAM. They are both being used, but are in a dangerous condition. North River Lighthouse was carried bodily off its foundations by the ice and is now resting on its broken piles close to the water. The traffic from Chesapeake Bay down through the sounds goes past this point.

1919 – About February 20, 1919, North River Light was discontinued.

1920 – Surviving structure sold to Dare County. North River Lighthouse was relocated to Rodanthe on Hatteras Island, where it served as a school until 1951. Today, the lighthouse is part of the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center.

Keepers:

  • Head: Willis Partridge (1866 – 1871), E.H. Walker (1871 – 1873), Elijah Aydelett (1873 – 1875), William T. Phelps (1875 – 1877), William H. Lyon (1877 – 1883), W.R. Lyon (1883 – 1884), James McGunnigle (1884 – 1886), Thomas Spires (1886 – 1890), Richard S. Daniels (1890 – 1899), Alpheus W. Simpson (1899 – 1901), Nathan H. Swain (1901 – 1905), Arthur Midgett (1905 – 1913), Frederick F. Kemp (1913 – 1914), Joseph F. Mercer (1914 – 1919).
  • Assistant: Jesse Partridge (1867 – 1871), Benjamin S. Walker (1871 – 1872), Elijah Aydelett (1872 – 1873), William T. Phelps (1874 – 1875), Jesse C. Bell (1875 – 1877), William H. Lyon (1877), Edward W. Williams (1877), Job Grant (1877), Quinton Mitchell (1877 – 1878), W.R. Lyon (1878 – 1882), William H. Dailey (1882), Joseph F. Mercer (1905), George G. Johnson (1905 – 1912), Oscar H. Daniels (1912 – 1913), Malachi D. Swain (1913), Christopher C. Midgett (at least 1915 – 1916), Arthur Midgett (1916), John M. Stowe (1916), Stephen B. Meekins (1916 – at least 1918).

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