Local News

Roanoke River Lighthouse restored to former glory

Posted August 7, 2014

— Built in 1886, the Roanoke River Lighthouse hasn't always stood at the edge of Edenton.

It originally stood proudly in the Albemarle Sound.

“The Roanoke River lighthouse was protecting where four different rivers were dumping into the bay, spilling all that sand and dirt in to this one area, so it was a very treacherous place,” said Karen Ipock, historic site manager for the lighthouse.

Eighty years ago, Marilyn Austin Meads played on the lighthouse porch when she was 4 years old. Her dad, Julian Austin, was a lightkeeper on the Roanoke Light for three years.

When he became sick, her mother packed up the family to stay with him on the structure,

“The inspector came, and we weren’t supposed to be there,” she recalled. “So, we hid in the closet – my mama, my brother and myself.”

The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1941, then it was sold, moved and used as a private home for many years. It was bought in 2005 by the local historical commission, which has spent nearly a decade loving it back to life.

The Brockmans were the first official tourists of the lighthouse during a special two-hour sneak-peek Thursday before the official opening Aug. 15.

“I think it’s beautiful,” Ashley Brockman said. “It’s a nice renovation, and I’m happy to be able to see it.”

There are two bedrooms upstairs, living quarters and a kitchen downstairs.

“We’ve seen them move it. We’ve seen them renovate the outside, and now the inside,” Brockman said.


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  • tmstubbs63 Aug 8, 2014

    Looks like someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning....historical building re-modeling is usually done by private funds.....at least somebody is doing something constructive instead of convincing people to sit on their duffs and let the government handle everything....

  • archmaker Aug 8, 2014

    View quoted thread

    don't worry, your friendly GOP in the General Assembly have gotten rid of the tax incentives to rehabilitate historic structures leaving us the great freedom to let the free market surround us with brand new strip malls in the future.

  • Wake1 Aug 8, 2014


  • WRAL + GOLO = Bias News Aug 8, 2014

    So how much money did it cost to purchase this lighthouse, move it and remodel it? I am sure this money could have been more wisely spent. Obviously, it does not help sea goers steer clear of any dangerous areas, since that is done by way of navigational equipment.

  • Eq Videri Aug 8, 2014
    user avatar

    "...loving it back to life." ???

    Is this journalism, or saccharine advocacy?