In 1822, for a charge of $50, the federal government purchased two acres at the south end of Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina as the site for a new lighthouse. Constructed by Massachusetts builder Noah Porter and finished in 1823, the Ocracoke Lighthouse still stands today. Total cost, including the one story, one bedroom keeper’s house, was $11,359. The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the second oldest operating lighthouse in the nation. With its aid, yesterday’s sailing vessels safely navigated the channels. Today, fishing and pleasure boats pass within its view. Time, however, has not changed the often tricky character of the shoal-ridden inlet. The historic lighthouse still stands by to make the waters safe.
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