LIGHTHOUSES, SAFETY, & ROCK N ROLL

“Old Baldy”, was not the first beacon to stand on Bald Head Island, NC. The first was the 1795 Bald Head Island Light Station — actually the first lighthouse structure built in North Carolina. The first light station, however, was built too close to the water, was plagued with erosion problems and was torn down by 1810. In 1817 the 109-foot-tall Old Baldy was built of bricks coated with cement on the outside. Inside it has a ground floor of brick and a stone floor in the lantern room, while the rest of the floors are Carolina yellow pine. It still has the original 12″ by 14″ double-glazed windows from Boston. Because of the limited range of its lens, the Bald Head Island Lighthouse was not useful for warning ships away from Frying Pan Shoals, which extend over 30 nautical miles out into the ocean. In 1854 Congress voted to place a lightship on the shoals. When the Cape Fear Lighthouse, a 150-foot steel skeleton structure, was built on the shoals in 1903, Old Baldy was downgraded to a low-intensity non-blinking light. The Bald Head Island Lighthouse was discontinued in 1935, but from 1941 to 1958 the structure housed a radio beacon to guide ships in low visibility. Now, 200 years later, Old Baldy will be the center of the National Lighthouse Weekend Celebration on Bald Head Island, NC. The Celebration will begin on Friday, August 4, 2017 and will run through Sunday, August 6, 2017. Included will be the Maritime Classic Run for the Light.

A free event on Oak Island, NC on Friday, August 5, 2017 could save your life. Ocean Safety Day will begin at 8 AM and run until 1 PM at the 16th Place East Beach Access. Swim and surf instructors partnered with members of the Oak Island Water Rescue, Oak Island Fire Department and the Sunset Beach Patrol will give talks and answer questions. You can even learn the basics of CPR.

Beginning today, August 3, 2017 you have the chance to wax nostalgic at the Amuzu Theater, in Southport, NC, at the show, “It’s Gotta Be Rock and Roll Music.” This show will run today, August 3 through Sunday, August 6 and August 17 through 20. Thursday and Friday shows begin at 7:30 PM and Sunday shows begin at 3 PM. Seating is limited and the $20 tickets are available from Ricky Evans Gallery and Color Me Carolina. More information at: 910-523-2552.

NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE DAY

In 1789 an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouses was approved by Congress. On the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Act, Congress passed a resolution which designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day in recognition and remembrance of how lighthouses protected our coasts and guided sailors to safe passage. Since the development of technology, the lighthouses are mostly obsolete for their original purpose, but we still find them intriguing emblems of times past. We who live in Brunswick County, NC are quite familiar with Old Baldy, on Bald Head Island, and the Oak Island Lighthouse, in Caswell Beach, on Oak Island. Less known is the Price’s Creek Light which can be seen from the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry. The Price’s Creek Light is the only remaining light of the eight lights that once lined the 25 miles of the Cape Fear River between Southport, NC and Wilmington, NC. It served as a Confederate signal aiding blockade runners during the Civil War.

The Price’s Creek light now stands on private land and cannot be toured, however, both Old Baldy and the Oak Island Lighthouse offer tours to the public. This weekend, August 5, 6 & 7, you can also enjoy the National Lighthouse Weekend celebration at Old Baldy on Bald Head Island. The celebration includes a Maritime Classic Run for the Light starting at 7:30 PM on Sunday.

The Oak Island Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station