Old Baldy Lighthouse is a historical landmark. Here’s a brief history on this magnificent piece of history.
For nearly 200 years, Old Baldy Lighthouse has stood majestically over North Carolina. Meant to illuminate the waters of the Cape Fear River entrance for sailors, Old Baldy Lighthouse soon became a light for the Frying Pan Shoals. Named after worn down dunes resembling a bald head, Old Baldy was originally all-white of plaster covering red brick, but since the lighthouse’s deactivation in 1935, Baldy looks more like a patchy quilt. All who visit are amazed, as they’ll discover Old Baldy in its original form and location.
TIMELINE OF OLD BALDY LIGHTHOUSE
1817—Old Baldy was built and first illuminated
1834—Its lighting signal changed to flash red with a 30-second delay
1879—Old Baldy was relit after being darkened during the Civil War
1893—New lamps were installed changing the light from red to white
1903—Was initiated as a fourth order fixed light with the activation of Cape Fear Lighthouse Station
until 1935—The U.S. Coast Guard used its Oil House as a radio transmitter during World War II.
1935—Old Baldy was deactivated
1975—Old Baldy was added to the National Register of Historic Places
1988—Relit and no longer a navigational aid
1995—Reopened after renovations.
2017—Old Baldy will be 200 years old.
OLD BALDY’S FEATURES
VISIT AND TOUR OLD BALDY
From Southport, take the Bald Head Island Passenger Ferry. For the full ferry schedule and prices click here.
Enter The Smith Island Museum of History at Keeper’s Cottage to purchase admission stickers to tour the lighthouse.