A once proud lighthouse that once served on Bald Head Island. Has left a lasting impact on Brunswick County. With the restoration of its original lens and being placed near the lighthouse complex. The memorial spot of Cape Fear Lighthouse is an inspiration waiting to be seen.
Bald Head Island
Once known as Smith Island, Bald Head Island is a village located on the east side of the Cape Fear River. Which is Brunswick County, North Carolina. It’s a small village with the only ferry access as a means of getting there.
Cape Fear River
This river expands about 191,08 miles long in the east-central part of North Carolina. It flows directly to the Atlantic Ocean next to the town of Cape Fear, where it gets its name from.
The lighthouse was built in 1903 to replace the Bald Head Lighthouse as the main aid for Cape Fear and the Frying Pan Shoals. What makes this one different from the other lighthouses, is that this one was not constructed with bricks.
Instead, it has an octagon pyramid skeleton frame, and it was painted red with white stripes going horizontally and housed a first-order Fresnel lens. Which was produced by the Henry-LePaute Company in the country of France.
In August 1906 the top of the tower was painted black to give it a more visible look during the day. However, in 1915 funds were requested to move the tower to the site of Bald Head Lighthouse, as it was believed to be in danger from erosion.
The lighthouse was maintained for more than half of its life by Captain Charlie Swan who would be known as the lighthouse keeper.
In 1958 the lighthouse was replaced by Oak Island Lighthouse which was considered more powerful due to the range of the light. Cape Fear range was 19 miles, with the Oak Island light coming in at around 21 miles.
Once the new lighthouse was constructed, it was requested that Cape Fear be demolished as some feared that it would confuse sailors if it remained. Over the next five decades, the lens that was used was sold piece by piece at an antique store in Wilmington, North Carolina.
It wasn’t until 2009 that the remaining lens was bought by the Old Baldy Foundation and returned to Bald Head Island for Restoration. As luck would have it, some of the lens pieces were returned. With plans to restore the entirety of the lens and display it next to its old spot.
Also known as the Cap’n Charlie’s Cottages, which is in Bald Head Island, North Carolina. It stands consisting of three light keeper’s houses and one supply shed. The buildings were constructed in 1903 along with the lighthouse. The complex was soon added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
National Register of Historic Places
Is an official list of any historic places that are deemed worthy of preservation. It was granted due to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is part of a program that supports public and private efforts to protect the historic site.
This private beach club on Bald Head Island was constructed for both members and guests to enjoy. Here people can take in the gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean and its Dunes. It also takes its names from the Frying Pan Shoals.
The club has four dining options for all to enjoy. The first is the Sandbar Grille which is a casual and kid-friendly restaurant that is located on the poolside. Next, we have The Verandahs, which has a more refined atmosphere that overlooks the pool.
Latitudes is a cocktail bar and lounge at the club where members and guests alike can sit down and enjoy watching the east coast sunset.
If looking for a more fancy dining experience. Then look no further than Aqua Coastal Cuisine. Where the reservations are required, and the seafood is fresh each day by the Executive Chef Caitlyn Fisher.
The club also has a calendar for a wide variety of events ranging from the pool, fitness room, dining options, and special events. Check out their website if you want to see what they have planned for the day.
It can’t be a club if you can’t plan events like a wedding. The Shoal club has a deck that overlooks the ocean and is considered the perfect spot for a wedding. They even offer a traditional wedding by using the Bald Head Island Chapel, in which the wedding couple is taken to a canopy to enjoy the ocean.
If the club isn’t a great fit, then Bald Head Island offers plenty of shopping options from basics like groceries to buying beachwear or going to the Island Retreat Spa and Salon to practice yoga or Pilates. Even visiting All About Art to shop around for the latest art design, or the Bald Head Blues market that sells quality clothing designs.
Just for the kids, the Island offers nature programs like the Bald Head Island Conservancy. Which offers kid and family-friendly programs for all to enjoy. They even offer camps for kids ranging from ages 4-6.