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Pamlico Point, NC  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Pamlico Point Lighthouse

1828 – Authorized by act of Congress on May 23, 1828 a lighthouse for Pamlico Point, $5,000.

1838 – Pamlico point—the keeper sick; the lamps and house in bad order; lightning-rod broken, and the door badly hung, having the slope or bevel of the house; ought to be perpendicular.

1850 - Pamplico Point light-house - 10 lamps; Samuel Fulford, keeper; supplied June 7, 1850.
Tower is in good order, and has been whitewashed outside and in within a few days past; and also the dwelling. Lantern frame on the west side is a good deal rusted; it is a strongly made lantern, and will last many years. Much light is lost in consequence of the lantern sashes being so wide, and the glass so small, nine by eleven inches. Lamps, reflectors, and oil-butts are good, and put on a full set of burners complete. Dwelling is in good order; arches have been put over the chimneys, and cistern has been repaired. The breakwater, which is built of wood, is fast decaying, and likewise being eaten up by the worms; the northeast part, which is the most exposed to the storms on the sound, is in the worst condition. The plank covering to the breakwater is decaying fast. The old keeper is now reinstated.
Left June 7, 1849, 412 gallons of oil. Found on hand 42. 400 gallons consumed in 363 days is equal to 402 gallons per year, or 40 2/10 gallons per lamp. Delivered 288 gallons spring oil, 107 gallons winter oil, on hand 42 gallons, for a total of 437
50 tube glasses; 25 yards cloth; 4 gross wicks; 1 buff skin; 1 pair scissors; 1 box Tripoli; 1 box soap; 1 file; 1 lamp-feeder; 1 glazier’s diamond; 1 foundation; 11 burners complete. 2 spare lamps, in good order; common burners; 14-inch reflectors.

1855 – Pamlico Point.—The tower at this station was being fast undermined by the action of the sea. I had a concrete foundation and breakwater made around the base of the tower where it was exposed, which will effectually preserve it. The keeper's dwelling was put in good repair at the same time.

1856 – New illuminating apparatus has been placed in the following lighthouses, in this district, during the past year, viz: Hog island, New Point Comfort, Pool's island, Turkey Point, Sharpe's island, Pamlico Point, Fishing Battery, Clay island, Blackistone's island, the two at North Point, and Beacon island.

1860 – The light-stations at Pamplico Point and Cape Hatteras require protection.

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 absence of any special pressing necessity for re-establishing at this time the lights at Body's island, Pamplico Point, and Bogue Banks has induced the board to abstain from any action in the premises.

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 – Pamlico Point.—New boat supplied.

1869 – Pamlico Point.—Tower, dwelling, and outbuildings whitewashed; lantern painted inside and out; platform from house to tower repaired, and new railings put up; reset all defective glass.

1870 – Pamlico Point; on south side of entrance to Pamplico River, N.C. Fixed, 5th-order lens light, refitted in 1867’ Tower, white, built in 1828. A brick tower. Marks the entrance to Pamplico River.

1883 – Pamplico Point, entrance to Pamplico River, North Carolina.—The water has for many years encroached on the shore, and has washed it so that but a narrow strip of land is left between the tower and the house, and it now washes the foundation-walls of the keeper's dwelling on the river front. It is recommended that a screw-pile light-house, of a pattern similar to that on Laurel Point, be built on the shoal off Pamplico Point. Borings recently made, at a point one and five-eighths miles east by south from the tower, indicate a hard sand bottom, suitable for the foundation of such a structure, which will cost but little, if any more, than would a permanent protection from the encroaching waters for the present tower and dwelling, and will be of much more service to navigation. It is estimated that this work can be done for $25,000, and the Board is of opinion that its importance makes the appropriation desirable.

1885 – Pamplico Point, entrance to Pamplico River, Pamplico Sound, North Carolina.—An appropriation should be made for a screw-pile light-house to replace the present tower on shore, which will require at an early date, if maintained, a large expenditure for means of protection against the encroachments of the water. A light on the shoal, which can be built for $25,000, will much better serve the interests of navigation.

1887 - 404. Pamplico Point, entrance to Pamplico River, North Carolina.— This light-house is one of the oldest in the sounds of North Carolina, and was built before the days of screw-pile structures. It is not of the value to navigation that a light in the vicinity should be, and a screw-pile lighthouse and fog-signal should be built on the shoal off the point to replace it. Recommendations to this effect have been made by the Board annually since 1883. Repairs to the old station have been continually deferred in anticipation of favorable action by Congress, until now the tower and dwelling are hardly worth the extensive repairs needed. The water has now so far encroached upon the station that at high tides it entirely surrounds the tower and dwelling.
NOTE.—The further encroachment of the sea since the above was written, put the tower and dwelling in such peril that they were in imminent danger of falling, so on October 10, 1887, the light was discontinued, and has been temporarily replaced by a lighted buoy. It is, therefore, urged that an appropriation of $25,000 be made for the establishment of a light-house on the shoal at the earliest day practicable.

1888 — Pamplico Point Shoal, entrance to Pamplico Sound, North Carolina.— The following recommendation made in the last annual report is renewed:
This light-house is one of the oldest in the sounds of North Carolina, and was built before the days of screw-pile structures. It is not of the value to navigation that a light in the vicinity should be, and a screw-pile light-house and fog-signal should be built on the shoal off the point to replace it. Recommendations to this effect have been made by the Board annually since 1883. Repairs to the old station have been continually deferred in anticipation of favorable action by Congress, until now the tower and dwelling are hardly worth the extensive repairs needed. The water has now so far encroached upon the station that at high tides it entirely surrounds the tower and dwelling.
NOTE.—The further encroachment of the sea since the above was written put the tower and dwelling in such peril that they were in imminent danger of falling, so on October 10, 1887, the light was discontinued, and has been temporarily replaced by a lighted buoy. It is, therefore, urged that an appropriation of $25,000 be made for the establishment of a light-house on the shoal at the earliest day practicable.

This item was embraced in the first deficiency bill, but it was stricken out before the bill was passed. The Board then made more urgent representation of the facts when a bill authorizing the establishment of the new light was passed at the current session of Congress, but no appropriation was made for its construction. The Board therefore calls attention to this case with renewed urgency.

1889 — Pamplico Point Shoal, entrance to Pamplico Sound, North Carolina.—Congress at its last session appropriated $25,000 for the establishment of this light to replace the one on the point. The gas-buoy which was placed in position after the discontinuance of the shore-light proved unreliable and was replaced by a stake-light in April. This light is shown from an eight-day lens-lantern, and has so far proved satisfactory as a temporary expedient. Plans for the new light-house have been decided upon, and its construction will be commenced as soon as practicable.

1890 — Pamplico Point Shoal, entrance to Pamplico River, North Carolina.—The work preliminary to the erection of this light-house was carried on in connection with that for Gull Shoal, North Carolina, which is the same style of structure. The parts are all ready for setting up at the site, which will probably be undertaken early in August.

1891 – Pamlico Point, entrance to Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.—The materials for the erection of this light-house, which had been brought in tow of the tender Jessamine with the parts of the Gull Shoal structure, were, on January 13,1891, taken on scows to their destination, the work at Gull Shoal then being sufficiently advanced to permit the departure of the tender. A platform from which to set the iron work was placed in position. The piles were forced 11 feet into the shoal and secured by socket castings to the horizontal and diagonal braces. The wrought-iron beams for supporting the dwelling were placed; the pieces forming the latter, which had been prepared as far as practicable at the Lazaretto Depot, were unloaded from the scows and set in place. The lantern was erected and the lens was placed. The roofing of the dwelling and other tin work were put on. The boat davits and hoisting machinery, the fog-bell apparatus, and the iron landing ladder were set. A fuel platform was constructed under the house. This, with some minor details, completed the work of erection, which was accomplished in twenty-three and one-half working days. The painting was left to be finished by three men while awaiting the arrival of the keepers. The structure which replaces the old tower at Pamlico Point is an hexagonal frame dwelling supported by wrought-iron screw piles and upholding a lantern which exhibits a fixed white light of the fourth order. The lens was lighted for the first time on the night of March 9,1891, and on the same date the temporary stake light which was placed off Pamlico Point in 1889 was discontinued. A fog bell is provided which is sounded, when required, at intervals of ten seconds.

1899 – Pamlico Point, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.—New model fourth-order lamps were installed and some minor repairs were made. The weight chain of the fog-bell apparatus was repaired and the bell weights, lost overboard, were recovered and put in place.

1913 – Mumford Guynn, keeper, and James O. Casey, assistant keeper, saved government property in their charge during storm.

1923 – William Newton, keeper, and Martin B. Tolson, assistant keeper, Pamlico Point Light Station, M.C, rendered assistance to several boats in distress during the months of October and November.

1924 – William Newton, keeper of Pamlico Point Light Station, N. C., and M. B.Tolson, assistant keeper, during February rendered several acts of assistance to various vessels in the vicinity of their station.

1925 – William Newton, keeper of Pamlico Point Light Station, N. C. and Martin B. Tolson, assistant keeper, during November and December rendered several acts of assistance in the vicinity of the light station.

1925 – William Newton, keeper of Pamlico Point Lighthouse, N. C., who was retired from active duty June 15, has written the following letter to the superintendent of lighthouses in Baltimore:
I am this day leaving the service as directed in your letter June 9 by being retired, which I appreciate. Allow me to say I feel that you and your office have done a grand work both for the service and light keepers for past few years.
Mr. Newton entered the Lighthouse Service on January 26, 1901, as acting assistant keeper at Brant Island Lighthouse, N. C., and has served continuously since that time at Smith Point Lighthouse, Va., Brant Island Shoal Lighthouse, N.C., Bluff Shoal Lighthouse N. C., Harbor Island Bar Lighthouse N. C., and Pamlico Point Lighthouse, N. C. His record in the Lighthouse Service is commendable, and he has rendered efficient service.

1936 – A note on Joseph D. Barnett’s record for 1936 states “Quarters Abandoned,” likely meaning the keepers no longer lived at the lighthouse.

1939 – The dwelling portion of the lighthouse was likely removed in 1939 as the light was listed as a skeleton tower on brown piles in a 1940 Light List, whereas it as listed as a white hexagonal house on brown piles in 1939.

Keepers:

  • Head: Samuel Fulford (at least 1831 – 1845), Zion Flowers (1845 – 1849), Samuel Fulford (1849 – 1853), William Brinn (1853 – 1855), Burton A. Ship (1855 – 1856), Noah W. Ireland (1856 – at least 1859), Robert Wallace (1867), Stephen Fowler (1867 – 1872), Littleton J. Potter (1872 – 1887), Royal L. Ireland (1891 – 1900), Robinson L. Ireland, Jr. (1900 – 1901), R. B. Hopkins (1900 – 1901), Alexander B. Curtis (1901 – 1903), Mumford Guynn (1903 – 1917), William S. Newton (1917 – 1925), Joseph D. Farrow (1925 – 1935), Joseph D. Barnett (1936 – 1941).
  • First Assistant: Littleton J. Potter (1891 – 1892), Robert B. Hopkins (1893 – 1900), Mumford Guynn (1900 – 1903), W.B. Lewis (1903), William B. Jennett (1903 – 1904), Harry A. Guynn (1904 – 1905), Peter G. Gallop, Jr. (1905 – 1909), John T. Tolson (1909), Devaney F. Jennette (1909 – 1910), James O. Casey (1911 – at least 1913), Lloyd V. Gaskill (1915 – 1917), Reddin C. Farrow (1917 – at least 1919), Martin B. Tolson (at least 1921 – at least 1924), Joseph D. Barnett (1927 – 1936), John E. Midgett (at least 1939).
  • Second Assistant: J. H. Stowe (at least 1925), John E. Midgett (at least 1930).

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