"In 1773 a teenager named Alexander Hamilton was a passenger on a ship that nearly sank off Cape Hatteras, and he experienced first hand the danger of the cape’s dreaded Diamond Shoals. Seventeen years later, when Hamilton was the second-ranking member of George Washington’s cabinet, he still heard terrifying tales of shipwrecks at Cape Hatteras. In 1789 Hamilton, who is reputedly the one who coined the moniker “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” urged Congress to investigate the possibility of establishing a lighthouse on the Hatteras Sand Banks. The lighthouse wasn’t authorized until 1794, and it wasn’t constructed until 1802. Mariners were not impressed with the lighthouse, which they said was not sufficiently bright or reliable."
In 1868 Congress appropriated funds to construct a new lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. The new beacon, with the iconic black & white spiral design, was first lighted in 1871.
|Image by Henry Hartley|
In 1872 the original lighthouse was demolished.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.