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North Carolina

Cape Lookout

Many believe the patterns painted on the Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras lighthouses should be switched. Legend has it that the diamond pattern was intended for Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which guards the dangerous Diamond Shoals.

Cape Lookout, too, marks a sailor’s nightmare – Lookout Shoals, also known as the “Horrible Headlands.”

The first lighthouse here was a 96-foot-tall, brick-and-wood tower built in 1812, but it was not tall enough. So, Congress authorized a new one to be erected in 1859. Twice Confederate troops darkened the lighthouse, destroying the lamp in 1861 and blowing up the stairs in 1865.

Its distinctive diamond pattern was painted in 1873 as a means for sailors to distinguish several identical lighthouses in the daylight. To reach the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, visitors must approach by boat and can tour the light keeper’s home. The automated lighthouse is not open to the public.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse, North Carolina
Cape Lookout Lighthouse, North Carolina



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Source: North Carolina Tourism; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20070820
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