Free lighthouse climb to welcome opening day

Published 10:41 am Monday, March 12, 2018

On Saturday, March 17 the Currituck Beach Light Station will host its annual free climb for its opening day. The tower will be open daily for climbing every day after that from from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through December 1.

Visitors can climb 220 (214 interior, 6 exterior) stairs to the top for a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean, Currituck Sound, and the Outer Banks while learning from docents and museum-quality exhibits about shipwrecks, the lives of lighthouse keepers and the original first order Fresnel lens.

The Light Station is located in Historic Corolla next to the Historic Corolla Park, home to Historic Whalehead and the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. Public beach and sound access are both within walking distance of the tower.

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On December 1, 1875 the beacon of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse filled the remaining “dark space” on the coast between the Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia and Bodie Island Lighthouse (which is an architectural twin). To distinguish the 162’ tall lighthouse from others, its exterior was left unpainted, which conveys a sense of the multitude of bricks used to build it. This December 1 will be the 143rd celebration of the lighthouse and another free-climb day.

The cost to climb the lighthouse is $10; children 7 and under climb for free with an adult.  And for the first time ever the Currituck Beach Lighthouse will now accept credit cards.

During the June, July and August the lighthouse will remain open on Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 8 p.m. The lighthouse may close for climbing in inclement weather.

Much work has been done on site since last year’s opening day. The underside of the gallery deck plates, brackets and belt course were all cleaned, replenished and repainted; cracked panes of glass in the lantern have been replaced; the chimneys on the lighthouse vestibule (oil house) have been repointed; the chimney heads of the Lighthouse Keepers’ house have been rebuilt; parts of the foundation of that dwelling were repointed, as were five courses of brick work directly below the cast iron gallery deck brackets.