It was reported in 1872 that ships, cargoes, and most importantly, lives were continously lost along the 40 miles of dark coastline that lay beyond the reach of the existing lighthouses. Southbound ships sailing close to the shore to avoid the Gulf Stream were especially vunerable. As a means of addressing this clear & present danger, the Currituck Lighthouse construction began in 1873 and was completed two years later. She is still on the job! Read more in the tips below!
On December 1, 1875 the guiding light of the Currituck Lighthouse filled the remaining "dark spot" on the Outer Banks coastline between the Cape Henry light to the north and the Bodie Island light to the south. Unlike the others, this guiding lighthouse was left unpainted and provides a greater appreciation of the number of bricks required to construct her... One Million Bricks!
What's Big and Thick and sits on a firm foundation? I don't know what you were thinking and I'm not going there, but I'm referring to Currituck Beach Lighthouse and it's base! It really is awesome sitting there in the middle of a forest looking so brawny and beefy!
At dusk, the light automatically comes on and flashes for 3 seconds and off for 17 seconds. This guiding light can be seen for 18 nautical miles and like the appearance of the lighthouse itself, each one has a distinctive light signal so mariner's can identify it and most importantly, their location in dangerous waters.
The ferry makes its round trip voyage five times a day, seven days a week. The trip is five miles long and takes 45 minutes. It can carry 18 cars - less if there is a truck or school bus in line. There is a lounges with tables and chairs and a restroom (not handicapped accessible) on each side, and and observation deck. The lounges have vending machines in them.
Here is a schedule.
From the mainland:
6am 9am 11am 3:30pm 5:30pm
On Rt. 158/168, watch for the the blue and white ferry signs around the town. You're in town when you see the big Texaco and McDonald's service center. There's a road that runs behind this service center. It's the old 158. That's the road to take to the ferry landing. South of the sevice center is where it meets the main road again.
This place tries to con you with that fact that it sits on the NC/VA line. This place is full of overpriced goods that break within hours of purchase. Not to mention that the traffic getting out, especially on weekends during the summer, is horendous
Currituck Light is in Currituck County, but is actually in the town of Corolla which is across Currituck Sound in the Outer Banks section of the county from the town of Currituck. That's what makes it off the beaten track.
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse became operational in December 1873. It is a first-order lighthouse (as are Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island), meaning that it has the largest size Fresnel lens. It stands 163 feet high and is constructed of more than one million bricks. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse was left unpainted to distinguish it from the other Outer Banks lighthouses.
The lighthouse remains today an active aid to navigation. It is the only lighthouse in North Carolina still housed in its original structure. It is one of only a dozen lighthouses nationwide with an original Fresnel lens still in use. In 1973, the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Currituck County was established around 1668. It was one of the five original ports for North Carolina and one of the original counties. Currituck Courthouse, in Currituck Settlement. The Currituck County Courthouse and Jail are two of the oldest buildings in North Carolina. The original Courthouse was constructed in 1723. This building was replaced in 1842. It has since been renovated and currently houses the County's government offices. It is located between the Jacobean Jail and the ferry dock. The building is open from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday and is located on Courthouse Road.
We didn't visit this courthouse, but we did see this historic marker which says "Joseph Pilmoor preached first Methodist sermon in colonoy 1772 at Currituck Courthouse. Pilmoor Memorial Methodist Church is near the site. About 300 ft. north."