Bodie Island Lighthouse
New Life Photos by Jamie Konarski Davidson
We are very grateful to Jamie Konarski Davidson for allowing us to use her incredible photo of Bodie Lighthouse. If you’d enjoy seeing more of Jamie’s work, please check the links suggested above.
Bodie Island Lighthouse as we know it now, with its’ distinguished white and black bands and black lantern house, is actually the third Bodie Lighthouse. Actually pronounced “Body”, after the Body Family who originally owned the land, it’s a 156 foot structure built in 1872. Presently, it is located on Roanoke Sound side of the first island of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.Our first “Bodie” was originally on Pea Island and contructed in 1847 by Francis Gibbons, who later became a noted West Coast lighthouse builder. However, due to a poor foundation, it began to lean, and was eventually abandoned in 1859.
Our second “Bodie” was constucted in 1859 and used a third order Fresnal lens, , but unfortunately came to the same fate as many of our other lighthouses, being destroyed in 1861 by Confederate troops, who were concerned with the possibility of it being used as an observation post for the Union. The 80 foot tower was demolished by stacking and blowing explosives in the interior.
The third and final Lighthouse, the one we have now, was completed in 1872, and has a first order Fresnal, which if I am understanding my source correctly, has 344 glass prisms. Many of the lenses were stored during war time, and returned when it was safe to do so. This particular lens is visible for roughly 18 nautical miles, and the structure contains some materials remaining from the new tower at Cape Hatteras. The Light Station is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, and all sits on 15 acres.
In 2011, when Hurricane Irene stormed up our coast line, some damage was substained by the Lighthouse..lantern glass in the watch room was blown out , along with some railing damage.
One note of interest to stamp collectors: the lighthouse is visible in the stamp background of the 63-64 Federal Duck Stamp.
Bodie Lighthouse website:
Bodie Lighthouse materials and statistics
There will be a re-lighting ceremony on April 18, 2013 and the lighthouse will be open for the general public to climb on April 19, 2013 for a fee.