We maintain our sites every day, using our own resources, expertise, and staff. What’s just as important as keeping these places in tip-top condition? Our ability to share their stories with you.
Stories From Our Staff
Currituck Beach Lighthouse
The story of our tower begins in 1873. Congress appropriates funding for a Lighthouse into the far reaches of coastal northeastern North Carolina; the beacon was to be an illuminator of a dark stretch of coast, between Cape Henry, Virginia and Bodie Island Light in North Carolina. And just as significantly, ours was the last large lighthouse tower constructed on the Outer Banks. By its completion in December 1875, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse was alive and shining – its beams stretching 15 miles, its maintenance stewarded by loyal keepers.
Over two dozen families stayed in the Currituck Beach Lighthouse duplex Keepers’ Dwelling since its completion, fighting the elements of an isolated barrier island system, protecting the Lighthouse compound, and ensuring the light was always on, always rotating. The history is rich, dynamic, and still alive today.
Want to learn everything about the Keepers that were stationed at the Currituck Beach Lighthouse since the beginning? We have a book about it – free to you, and full of incredible stories.
History of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse
The Etheridge Family traces its beginnings on Roanoke Island back to 1757 when Adam Etheridge leased 1,500 acres of land on the North End to farm and range livestock. Today, a small, yet remaining tract of the Etheridge Farm is a now-living example of 19th-century life on Roanoke Island.
In January of 1757, Jesse Etheridge acquired a 150-acre tract from Joseph Mann. In 1787, Jesse purchased another 150 acres, which gave him access to Roanoke Sound; early maps indicate that it was on this property that he built a home. But it was Jesse’s grandson, Adam Dough Etheridge, who built the house that is the heart of Island Farm today.
In 2001, Outer Banks Conservationists (OBC) hosted a gathering of Etheridge descendants at their Homeplace, brought together to share stories, history, and photographs of their ancestral property. To commemorate the occasion, OBC distributed compiled research by Penne Smith. The research is an extensive examination into the Etheridge family’s heritage on the North End of Roanoke Island, along with the contextual issues of the time. What was grown on the Farm? How large was it? Who lived there?
The answers are fascinating, and always available for you.