The Mistaken Lighthouse

December 5 at Nags Head, North Carolina

BroJoe Nags Head

Lake Mattamuskeet, NC:Lake Mattamuskeet

This is said to be one of the most photographed locations in North Carolina.  Postcards of the scene,  which were  distributed at the 1939 World’s Fair, identified it as a lighthouse. Its paint design is identical to that of the Bodie Island lighthouse, located about 70 miles away.   It was, however,  actually a smokestack, built for the pumping station behind it.  The building has a historic designation as having been the largest pumping station in the world, and the project for which it was built was also the world’s largest then.  The story of the huge pumping project is intriguing; here is a link to more information about it.

At one time,  the pumping station was converted to a lodge, but was later declared unsafe for that purpose.  There have been efforts (now on hold) to restore it as a hotel.

The area is part of the Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.

Other links:




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