In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the lighting of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a new exhibit has been set up at the lighthouse’s Visitors Center and bookstore which pays tribute to the iconic landmark’s long history through a series of historic photographs.
The temporary exhibit, “150 Years of Light, a Photographic Tribute,” includes 57 photographs from almost every decade of the lighthouse’s lifespan. The collection includes the earliest known photo from 1893, images from the 1930s when storms and erosion caused the lighthouse to be abandoned, and images from the 1940s when the CCCs pitched camp just south of the lighthouse.
As the decades progress, photos from the 1950s highlight the rise of tourism in the Outer Banks, when motels and roads were first built, and postcards and posters were created to attract new waves of visitors. The display also includes a series of photos from the “Move of the Century,” when the lighthouse was meticulously relocated inland in 1999 to save it from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean.
The exhibit is currently on display at the Visitors Center, which is open daily from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and at this time, the exhibit is slated to remain through the spring of 2021.
In addition, the Dare County Arts Council is hosting a virtual art exhibit for folks who want to explore the visual history of the lighthouse, but who are unable to make an in-person visit to the Buxton exhibit. The “Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Virtual Art Show” showcases a variety of artworks featuring the lighthouse, and is accessible online at www.darearts.org/hatteras150.
The Buxton exhibit was orchestrated by John M. Havel, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Researcher and Board Member of the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, Jami Lanier, NPS Cultural Resource Manager, and Jonathan Polk, Supervisory Ranger of Interpretation and Education at Cape Hatteras, as well as a team of volunteers.
For more information on the upcoming 150th anniversary celebration, including details on the December 16 festivities, see https://islandfreepress.org/outer-banks-driving-on-the-beach/details-announced-for-the-150th-anniversary-of-the-cape-hatteras-lighthouse-celebration/.