North Carolina-Old Baldy-July 18


North Carolina People, Places, and Things-July 18

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

I have several close friends that love the coastal experience of Bald Head Island. I have never set foot on the island but have been off its shore on several fishing trips with my friend Tonnie Prevatte. Photo below is of Tonnie on a fishing trip to Puerto Vallarta.

tonnie prevatte

When you talk to people that love Bald Head Island an important image for them is “Old Baldy”. Old Baldy is the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina.

Old_Baldy_Lighthouse,_Bald_Head_Island.jpg

It has maintained its original form and location for over 187 years. The most important purpose of Old Baldy was to mark the Cape Fear River entrance for the maritime sailors.  It was never intended as a light for Frying Pan Shoals.

Old Baldy was built in 1817 of soft red bricks covered with stucco.  In the early days the lighthouse keeper would white wash Old Baldy every two years. When Old Baldy was deactivated in 1935 the lighthouse was abandoned. The white wash protected the stucco.

When it was discontinued large pieces of the stucco began to fall off the lighthouse. Occasionally someone would come along and patch the lighthouse with new stucco; however, they did not use the same stucco as was used in 1817.  Today Old Baldy looks like a patch work quilt of different stuccos.

In 1817 Old Baldy was completely white. The photo below gives a little justice to that concept.

baldhead_cg

 

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