Bald Head Island Lighthouse . Cape Fear River . Smith Island . North Carolina . Watercolor . 9" x 12"
... the 1817, 110-foot tall, brick octagonal, Bald Head Island light tower, originally called the Cape Fear Light, is known by its nickname "Old Baldy". It is the 2nd light put into service at this location. The first, erected in 1794, built too close to the Cape Fear River bank and threatened by erosion, was dismantled and it's brick reused for this new tower. An adjacent keeper's house was also built and lost to erosion. A replacement home was then erected inland and destroyed by fire in 1931. This Cape Fear (Bald Head Island) Light was extinguished in 1866, following construction of a new light at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, but by 1879... Old Baldy was again considered useful and relit. In 1901, a Cape Fear Light, skeleton tower, was built to augment Old Baldy and this brick and stucco tower was renamed as the Bald Head Lighthouse. Both the Cape Fear Skeleton Light and the Bald Head Light were decommissioned in 1957, following activation of the new Oak Island Light. The Cape Fear Skelton was demolished. Old Baldy remains and its stucco tower, originally painted white, with its unusual off-center lantern room, has been repaired, piecemeal over the years, resulting in its current patchwork "camouflage" appearance. The Bald Head Island Lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
This view is accessible from a boardwalk that stretches across the marshlands.