Local News

Primary Keeper's House Moved Inland; Path Cleared for Lighthouse

Posted March 22, 1999

— Another big piece of the puzzle has been moved, clearing the way to slide the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse away from the sea.

77-year-oldRany Jennettesees reflections of his younger years in the Primary Keeper's House. He was born and raised there.

"He is the son of the last lighthouse keeper. So it's kind of an emotional day, more for me than it is for him," says Lynne Jennette, Rany's wife.

It's not emotional for the people responsible for moving the delicate, 240 ton house. It is just hard work.

"You have to keep it from getting stuck in this very soft sand, this dense sand," says Jerry Matyiko, of Expert House Movers.

While sand makes the move difficult, it is exactly what the National Park Service hopes will surround the lighthouse station at its new location 1,600 feet from the sea.

When you look at the ocean on a calm, beautiful day, it is hard to believe that it is actually threatening the lighthouse. But when you see how close it is to the water, it is easy to understand the concern.

With the last building moved, preparations are now underway to get the lighthouse ready for its move. Even those who oppose the move hope for the best.

"Locals want to see this move a success," says opponent John Hooper. "If they're going to make it, no one wants to see anything happen to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse."

That is something everyone can agree on.

If all goes as planned, the lighthouse move will begin sometime between May 15 and June 1.

It will move at a rate of 25 to 100 feet per day and it should take about six weeks for it to reach its new home.

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