1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse, Edenton

#3 of 10 in Things to do in Edenton
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The Roanoke River Light is a historic, decommissioned lighthouse, located on the waterfront of Edenton, North Carolina. The lighthouse once stood in Albemarle Sound at the mouth of the Roanoke River, across the Sound from its current location. The only surviving screw-pile lighthouse in the state, it has since been moved twice, and a replica of a predecessor light has been erected at a fourth location.
A lightship was placed at this location in 1835, designated "MM" in the 1939 USCG list of early lightships. This vessel sported an arrangement of red, blue, and green lenses, and survived until the Civil War, when it was captured by confederate forces and was eventually taken up the Roanoke River and scuttled.
The first permanent structure was erected in 1866, a square screw-pile lighthouse similar to others in the region. This light burned in March 1885 and was reconstructed the same year; however, in the following winter moving ice broke two of the pilings and threw the house into the sound.
A new light was constructed at the same site in 1887, another screw-pile structure of an atypical design. The new light had two stories rather than the usual single story, and the lantern housing the lamp sat on a tower arising from a corner of the building, rather than being mounted at the center of the roof. The light was equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.
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1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse reviews

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95 reviews
  • A must do. Sign up for a tour at the Visitor's center on Broad street, about 5 blocks from the waterfront in the pink house. The tour includes a few stops and this is one of them (on a golf cart...  more »
  • We would have left vet to have seen the side of the lighthouse but it was closed both days we tried. It looks lovely and we love history.  more »
  • The waterfront park and lighthouse are really fun to visit, especially for kids. There is some great play equipment in the park that looks like it may have been renovated recently. They even have a zipline! The lighthouse is very cool too and it is pretty neat to see the history with it. Looks really cool elevated.
  • Absolutely breathtaking! I rode my motorcycle to North Carolina with no particular destination, I'm gladI find this place! Anyone who can make it here should. Please notice the trees in the water!
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