In what felt a lot like a homecoming on the church grounds, minus the fried chicken, many of those who were responsible, chronicled, or were just witnesses, returned Monday to the Cape Hatteras Light Station to remember and celebrate the historic move of the nation’s tallest brick lighthouse in 1999.
There were remarks and musical performances, followed by a panel discussion with those who were directly involved with the move, under a large tent on the lawn between the lighthouse and the double keepers quarters.
Videos courtesy Outer Banks Forever:
And while all that was going on, visitors from around the country and around the globe came to visit or take a free climb of the historic beacon, which Hatteras Island-native and Dare County Commissioner Danny Couch said ranks on the same level of recognizable icons as the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Longtime WRAL-TV reporter Bill Leslie and videographer Richard Adkins even climbed all 238 steps to conduct a live shot during the Raleigh television station’s midday newscast.
— Bill Leslie (@wralbleslie) July 1, 2019
While much of the attention on Monday was on the current site of the beacon that began service in 1870, its original location is once again officially marked.
Hopefully it never has to be moved again, although that is no guarantee on this sandbar, there is always preservation work to be done.
National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac announced at the end of the panel discussion that funding has been secured and plans are beginning to be formulated to undertake a major renovation of the lighthouse in the next few years.
Another step making sure the beacon can shine on to mariners, residents and vacationers for decades to come.