Located just south of Nags Head, the Bodie Island Lighthouse as it stands today is the third such beacon built to help mariners maneuver the coast from Cape Hatteras to Currituck Beach. The original Bodie Island Lighthouse (pronounced “body”)was built in 1847, on the south side of Oregon Inlet in an area known today as Pea Island. It was renovated in 2012 and beginning in April 2013 will be climbable to the public.
Abandoned twelve years later due to a poor foundation, the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1859, again south of the inlet, but was blown up in 1861 by retreating Confederate troops who feared the Union would use it to their advantage for navigation. Today’s Bodie Island Lighthouse was completed in 1872 on the north side of Oregon Inlet near the northern border of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The familiar black and white horizontal striped structure was partly built of materials leftover from the construction of the newest Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Standing 150 feet high and equipped with a first-order Fresnel lens, it flashes its 160,000 candlepower beacon 19 miles over the ocean.
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is considered its architectural twin. An example of Gothic Revival architecture, the Currituck Beach Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1973.