Station Historic Site celebrates its centennial year
Life-Saving Station Historic Site has opened for the season and is also
celebrating the centennial year for the 1911 station.
While a major one-day event is being planned for Aug. 4 (see www.chicamacomico.net),
the recognition will go on all year. There are many
“centennial items” that will be available in the gift shop all season
long, and there are many new Coast Guard items, including hats,
T-shirts, decals, challenge coins, and more.
The historic site is now open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through
Friday. The nonprofit charges nominal admission fees which help keep it
running. General admission is $6, and senior (65 plus) and
student admission is $4.
Daily programs are scheduled for June, July, and August at 2 p.m. each
day Monday through Friday and are included in the admission
The programs include a behind the scenes look at the making of the
“Nights in Rodanthe,” film, the heroes and history of the U.S.
Life-Saving Service, the real “Taffy of Torpedo Junction, the beach
apparatus drill, and the fate of The Lost Colony. For more information
on the programs, go to http://www.chicamacomico.net/Calendar.htm
The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site is a seven-acre,
eight-building complex. It is considered the most complete
remaining U.S. Life-Saving Service complex in the nation. It
contains two of the 285 U.S. Life-Saving Service stations built from
1848 to 1914. It was the first operational station in North
Carolina and is located on the eastern-most point in North
Carolina. Today the site is open to the public and contains
artifacts, displays, photographs, and other unique items.
The site consists of eight buildings including:
- The 1874
opened in December, 1874. It was located approximately a half
mile north of its current location but was relocated to its current
location soon after the 1911 Station was completed. Once the
replacement station was built, the 1874 Station was used by the crew as
a boathouse and storage shed.
- The 1892
- The 1896
was built to accompany the 1874 Station. In later years it
relocated on the property and was then used as an oil shed.
- The 1911
station is a
larger structure with unique architecture – cedar shakes and shingles,
dormer windows, and an enclosed watch tower.
- The 1911
two “government horses” until they became obsolete for this type of
- The 1911
- The 1936
In addition, the site also contains three wooden water cisterns (1874
era) and one concrete “beehive” cistern (1911 era).
The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Service Station was decommissioned and
closed in 1954. It was abandoned property until it was
by a private citizen. In 1974, this private citizen turned
property over to the residents of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo.
They then created the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the
Chicamacomico Historical Association, to own and operate the
complex. Limited restoration was done to the buildings up to
1994, when vigorous work began.
From 1994 to present, the 1911 Chicamacomico Station is 97 percent
restored, and the 1874 Station is 75 percent restored. The
buildings on the site are back in their correct historical location.
In 2005, a home built on Hatteras Island in 1907 was donated complete
with furniture and other furnishings, and was relocated to an adjacent
piece of property within the Chicamacomico complex. This home
direct ties to the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station. It is
called the 1907 Midgett House and is also open to the public.
Chicamacomico was the scene of the most highly awarded maritime rescue
in American history – the rescue of the Mirlo on Aug. 16, 1918 -- and
has on display Surfboat No. 1046, the actual boat used in that stunning
and dramatic rescue. Chicamacomico was also the scene on one
the last breeches buoy rescues in the state of North Carolina when the
Omar Babun wrecked in 1954.
Today Chicamacomico is the only place in the United States that
performs the full Beach Apparatus Drill reenactment for the public
during the summer months. It is also the only drill
in the world performed by active duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel.
This unique complex is truly special, is all real, and is a national
treasure not to be missed.
The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum is
of the many sites on the Historic Albemarle Tour and the National Outer
Banks Scenic Byway. To learn more about Chicamacomico, its
exciting activities and offerings, visit www.chicamacomico.net,
or email at [email protected]
or call 252-987-1552.