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Old Baldy Lighthouse

For anyone taking a trip to Bald Head Island, a visit to its famous lighthouse is a definite must before you leave. Old Baldy, as it is affectionately nicknamed has the distinction of being the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina. Built in the early 1800s out of brick and plaster, it stands at a not-too-shabby 110 feet tall and with walls almost five feet thick, it is considered to be one of the safest structures on Bald Head Island, able to withstand up to Category 3 hurricanes.

Old Baldy began its work as an active lighthouse in 1817, but turned out to be relatively inadequate for guiding ships during storms and such due to its location, shorter height and poor lighting. As such, several other lighthouses were eventually constructed at various points around Bald Head Island to provide better illumination for passing and incoming ships. Funding to increase the height of Old Baldy and for improved lighting never came to be and it was finally deactivated in 1935. It was officially decommissioned in 1958 before joining the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

With the assistance of the Old Baldy Foundation, the lighthouse underwent years of restoration and eventually was opened to the public for visits and tours in 1995. Visitors to Bald Head Island can spend time examining the structure, climb the interior of Old Baldy and get some wonderful pictures and memories. After completing a climb of the lighthouse, visitors can also take a moment to visit the Smith Island Museum of History, which lies next door and provides information and exhibits about Old Baldy and Bald Head Island itself.

Old Baldy is open to visitors Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM and on Sundays from 11 AM to 4 PM. Adults (13 yrs. and up) will pay $5, children (ages 3 to 12) pay $3 and children 2 years and younger are free. Its a small price to pay for the chance to tour and appreciate a historical landmark that remains a shining, symbolic beacon in a maritime location. Visit Old Baldy today and rack up one more exciting vacation memory.

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Bald Head Island Office
Mailing Address: PO Box 3012, Bald Head Island, NC 28461
Phone: 910-457-1702
E-Mail: Rentals
Hours: 10 am to 4 pm daily