Monday, April 24, 2006

Out of the Storm . . .


Lighthouses were erected along the U.S. coasts to guide offshore ships along the coast, protecting them from the deadly shoals, and were a beacon of hope in threatening storms. The red brick, unpainted Currituck Beach lighthouse was constructed in 1875 in the village of Corolla on the NC coastline.

In recent years, the deteriorating light and the accompanying keepers structures were painstakingly and meticulously restored under the guidance of the Outer Banks Conservation organization. When the US Coast Guard opted to delinquish the lighthouse from it's control a few years ago, the issue was embroiled in a storm between Currituck County and the Outer Banks Conservation group. In the end, the conservation group won out. But the situation just got worse when Currituck County started putting up as many obstacles as possible to prevent the group from successfully maintaining the historic site and successfully operating it as a tourist attraction. In addition to the tens of thousands of people that choose to vacation in Corolla, many thousands more make the lighthouse as their destination for a day trip from other parts of the Outer Banks.

A few days ago, Currituck County commissioners decided to drop all legal obstacles in the operation and management of the lighthouse property. The Outer Banks Conservation group has done a very admirable job over the last several years in their restoration efforts, and can now finally get on with what they do best for the people that visit the Currituck Beach Light.

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