Saturday, November 28, 2009
Old Baldy Lighthouse - Bald Island, North Carolina
Built in 1817, historic Old Baldy Lighthouse has stood watch over North Carolina's famed Cape Fear region for more than 190 years.
The waters surrounding Bald Head Island are among the most historic in the South. It was here that the "gentleman pirate" Stede Bonnett finally met his match and the notorious Blackbeard once cruised the hidden inlets of the Cape Fear River.
Because the stretch of coast was so treacherous in the days before modern navigational systems, the U.S. Government selected Bald Head Island at the mouth of the Cape Fear to become the site of an important lighthouse. The original structure was endangered by erosion less than ten years after it was completed, so the tower was taken down and the materials used in 1817 to build the Old Baldy Lighthouse that stands today.
There is no way to know how many storms, hurricanes and gales the lighthouse has weathered over the years. It also weathered the storm of the Civil War. The Confederates built Fort Holmes on Bald Head Island as one of a system of forts that helped keep the Cape Fear open to blockade runners until nearly the end of the war.
Old Baldy Lighthouse today is a fascinating historic site that draws visitors from around the world to Bald Head Island. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/oldbaldy.