Thursday, July 05, 2018

Bluff Shoal Lighthouse

The Bluff Shoal Motel is located right in the center of the village of Ocracoke, on the waterfront of Silver Lake Harbor. The motel takes its name from a shoal in Pamlico Sound about 7 1/2 miles from Ocracoke.

In 1904, a lighthouse was built on Bluff Shoal. 

Bluff Shoal Light

According to the United States Lighthouse Society, Bluff Shoal Light Station was equipped with a fog signal and a bell, in addition to a 4th order lantern. The fog signal was produced by a Gamewell bell machine manufactured by the Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Co., Boston, Mass., and emitted a single blow every 15 seconds. The 1200 lbs., 36" diameter metal bell (see photo) was struck every 30 minutes.

The Bluff Shoal Lighthouse is no longer in existence.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a delightful story written by Dr. Warren Silverman, who in 1981 became the island's resident physician after forty years without a doctor. The story is about Dr. Silverman's very first Ocracoke patient, island native Maltby Bragg (1904-1985). You can read the story here:


  1. Anonymous4:10 PM

    Philip, It looks like some kind of shades are hung over the windows of the light itself...what is that for? Do you have any idea? thanks

    1. I am not sure about the shades, but my guess is that they were simply a practical measure...maybe to keep the lantern room from getting too hot during the day (?).

  2. Anonymous4:32 AM

    I thought they would make the lantern room with windows that opened for just that purpose-especially during the daytime. But your guess is as any. Thanks for the reply....always good reading here.