Located in the fishing village of Ocracoke on the island of Ocracoke, this is the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina and is equipped with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.
The present structure is the third. In 1798, a 54-foot wooden tower was built on the Ocracoke Inlet entrance where Edward Teach, otherwise known as "Blackbeard the Pirate," lived at one time. The channel shifted, rendering the lighthouse ineffective. It was replaced by a light vessel in the inlet in 1820, but by 1822 this structure was also rendered useless by shifting sands, and Congress authorized the money to build the present tower which stands 75 feet tall. The lighthouse was cemented and whitewashed in 1868, giving it the appearance it has today.
Originally fueled by whale oil, it is now lit by automatic electric power and shines 14 miles out to sea.