Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The 208-foot Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on the American coast.
Located in Buxton, this tower is made of 1.2 million bricks that were hauled to the Buxton site by oxen.
Its walls are 14 feet thick at the base.
It presides over Diamond Shoals, projecting light more than 50 miles into the Atlantic and warning
travelers away from this dangerous area known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
There have been three different lighthouses at Cape Hatteras, the first erected in 1803.
Today’s lighthouse was begun in 1869 and was once so threatened by erosion that in 1936 a
steel skeleton tower in nearby Buxton Woods replaced it. The erosion reversed in 1950, and the brick lighthouse was reactivated.
In the summer of 1999, the National Park Services moved the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse 2,900
feet from its original location. It still rests there today upon a new concrete foundation just
1,600 feet from the shoreline, the same distance it stood from the sea when it was completed in 1870.
This popular National Seashore preserves and protects 75 miles of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and includes the area
of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse as well as visitor centers at Buxton, Bodie Island and Ocracoke Island.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on the American coast