Lighthouse Move Attracting Curious Crowds
Posted March 15, 1999
BUXTON — A judge holds the fate of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in his hands.He could decideto stop the move inland or let it continue. That uncertainty isn't halting the flurry of activity in Dare County.
Late winter is usually the slow season along the Outer Banks, but not this season, not at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Harold Shaeffer is a volunteer who helps answer all of the questions about moving the lighthouse -- even the tough ones like "How do people feel about it?"
"I would say the majority of the local people would prefer it not to be moved for various reasons," Shaeffer tells a visitor to the site. "The park service position is that if it is moved inland, it will be good for 100 years."
People come from all around to get just the right view of the world's tallest brick lighthouse. The locals have filed a lawsuit to stop the big move, but the work carries on.
Some visitors are up to speed on the difference of opinion.
"There's so much controversy about whether it should be moved or shore it up where it is. It is quite interesting to see the engineering involved in moving it," says a visitor.
"We just wanted to see it before it got moved, before anything happened to it," says another visitor.
Back at his post, Harold Shaeffer thinks about the future.
"So they feel, based on history, this should be good for another 100 years. Of course, there will be no one around to have to answer to that, so I guess it will be a safe bet," he says with a chuckle.