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Southwest Point Royal Shoal, NC  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Southwest Point Royal Shoal Lighthouse

Established in 1826 by a light-vessel.

1855 – Royal Shoal – This vessel was fitted with a Costan lamp at the same time the Long shoal vessel was.

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.

1864 - The light-vessel formerly marking Royal shoals, North Carolina, was removed by the rebels in 1861, and sunk as part of the barricade in Neuse river; but after the capture of Newborn by the United States forces, she (with two others) was raised. She was subsequently brought to Baltimore, thoroughly repaired, and is now employed as a relief vessel for the district.

1867 – Before the war, the aids to navigation in this district included a great number of light-vessels, many of which were in waters not subject to heavy seas, and but rarely to ice of such mass and strength as to make it dangerous to permanent structures. The rebellion had swept away all the light-vessels in the sounds of North Carolina, and some of those in the lower Chesapeake. In reestablishing these stations the opportunity was presented to carry into effect an object long had in view by the Board, viz., to replace the light-vessels, wherever practicable, by permanent structures, because of their greater economy, both in construction and maintenance. Generally the stations occupied by light-vessels are of such a character that the screw-pile light-house is the most eligible form of construction for any permanent substitute. This is particularly the case in the district in question, owing to the slight elevation of the adjacent shores and their swampy formation, the shallow water and the nature of the bottom. Since the last annual report screw-pile light-houses have been erected upon the eight following stations, formerly occupied by light-vessels, viz: Roanoke river, Harbor island, Southwest Point Royal shoal and Long shoal, in North Carolina, Upper Cedar Point, Hooper's straits, and Janes' island, in Maryland, and Lower Cedar Point, in Virginia, at a total cost of one hundred and twenty-one thousand and one dollars, ($121,001,) which, under the authority of the second section of the “act making appropriations for light-houses, light-boats, buoys, &c, and providing for the erection and establishment of the same, and for other purposes,” approved March 3d, 1859, has been charged to the appropriation for “seamen's wages, repairs, &c, of light-vessels.” Thus far, no light-vessel removed or destroyed by the rebels has been replaced by a new one built for the purpose.

1867 – Royal shoal.—This vessel was destroyed by the rebels at the beginning of the war. The site formerly occupied by it being suitable for that of a screwpile light-house, the station was re-established by the erection of one, from which a light was exhibited for the first time on the night of the 30th April, 1867.

1868 – Southwest Point of Royal Shoals.—Iron-work of foundation painted two coats and the outside of superstructure one coat; lantern painted inside and out; new glass set where required.

1869 – Southwest Point Royal Shoals.—Screw-pile light-house; iron work cleaned of rust and painted; outside of house and outside and inside of lantern painted, as well as lantern deck and balustrade; glass reset, and material for boat's falls supplied.

1881 – Southwest Point Royal Shoal, Pamplico Sound, North Carolina, August 1, 1880 - discontinued.

1888 – Southwest Point Royal Shoal, Pamplico Sound, North Carolina, September 15, 1887 – new light.

1888 – Southwest Point Royal Shoal, Pamplico Sound, North Carolina.— In accordance with the request of mariners interested in the navigation of Pamplico Sound, the re-establishment of the light at Southwest Point Royal Shoal was authorized. Proper repairs were made to the lighthouse and the light was re-exhibited on September 15, 1887. Additional repairs were made in May.

1890 – Southwest Point Royal Shoal, Pamplico Sound, North Carolina.— In December, 425 cubic yards of riprap stone were put under and around the light-house to strengthen it and check the erosion of the site, which had recently been considerable. Some minor repairs were made.

1899 – Southwest Point Royal Shoal, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.— New model fifth order lamps were supplied.

1914 – A.J. Simpson keeper of Southwest Point Royal Shoal Light Station, N.C., has been commended for the efforts made by him on July 31 with the station sailboat to assist a disabled motor boat, which was finally towed to port by a power boat.

1919 – In January James O. Casey, keeper of Southwest Point Royal Shoal Light Station, Etc, N.C., rendered valuable services by supplying provisions to the keeper of Brant Island Shoal Light Station, N.C., who was short of rations and without assistance.

1922 – Southwest Point Royal Shoal Light Station, changed illuminant to acetylene, $1,019. About July 6, 1922, the characteristic of Southwest Point Royal Shoal Light will be changed to flashing white every 5 seconds, flash 0.5 seconds, eclipse 4.5 seconds, of 550 candlepower.


  • Head: Benjamin Lawrence (1867 – 1872), Oscar F. Rue (1872 – 1875), Thomas C. Jones (1875 – 1878), Elijah G. Dixon (1878 – 1880), Charles B. Keeler (1887 – 1900), Edward L. Keeler (1901 – 1905), Amasa J. Simpson (1905 – 1915), James O. Casey (at least 1917 – at least 1919), Charles W. Fulcher (at least 1921).
  • Assistant: Thomas S. Gaskill (1867 – 1869), Elijah S. Gaskill (1869 – 1875), Elijah G. Dixon (1875), Mrs. M.J. Jones (1875), Thomas C. Jones, Jr. (1876 – 1878), John T. Shipp (1878 – 1879), Van Buren B. Davis (1879 – 1880), Thomas Robinson (1887 – 1889), Martha A. Keeler (1889 – 1900), Susan D. Keeler (1900 – 1905), James R. Willis (1905), Alaska D. Jennett (1905 – 1907), John B. Quidley (1907), William B. O’Neal (1908), Robley D.E. Simpson (1908), John A. Quidley (1908 – 1909), William T. Midgett (1909 – 1922).

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