Today the site is comprised of ten buildings, six of which have been authentically restored, nestled on two acres in the heart of the quaint downtown area of Beaufort. The buildings include: the 1796 Carteret County Courthouse, the 1829 Carteret County Jail; the 1859 Apothecary Shop and Doctors Office and the 1732 Rustull House that houses the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery. Living history demonstrations, guided tours and special events vividly describe the lifestyles, customs and architecture unique to this coastal area. Volunteers in period dress provide tours for three of the buildings on the site. The BHA's red English bus also provides tours of the historic district.
The present Cape Lookout lighthouse was completed in 1859 at a cost of $45,000. The lighthouse stands 163 feet above sea level and was equipped with a 1st-order Fresnel lens. The powerful beacon could be seen from at least 19 miles away. After its construction, Cape Lookout became a model for all tower lighthouses constructed on the Eastern U.S. coast from that point on. When the remaining four North Carolina lighthouses were finished (Cape Lookout, Cape Hatteras, Bodie, and Currituck), the Lighthouse Board painted each different designs to easily distinguish one from another. Cape Lookout was painted in a black and white diamond pattern. Three full white diamonds facing east and west. The north and south-facing sides have two full black diamonds and have a half of black diamond at the top and bottom of the tower.
The visitor center in the keepers' quarters adjacent to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse is open from 9AM to 5PM from April to November. The tower is open for climbing from mid-May to mid-September. Tickets may be reserved for climbing by calling (252) 728-0708 between 9:30AM to 4PM Monday through Friday. Reservations can only be made for dates the same week and must be made at least one day in advance.
From the tower, visitors can view the spectacular expanse of Core Sound in a manner and from a visual perspective that has never before been possible, even for long-time residents. The panorama includes Shell Point, Shackelford and Core Banks, Core and Back Sounds, and Cape Lookout Lighthouse, and many Down East communities.
|252-247-4003 or 800-832-3474|
1 Roosevelt Blvd - Pine Knoll Shores, NC