The Outer Banks, a 200-mile-long chain of barrier islands, stretch from southeastern Virginia to most of the North Carolina coast. The islands were a haven for piracy in the 1600s, but later an important commercial fishing industry developed in the region. Currituck Beach Lighthouse—the northernmost of the light stations on the Outer Banks—began service on December 1, 1875, to fill a 40-mile gap on the coast between the lights at Cape Henry, Virginia, and Bodie Island, North Carolina. It was the last major brick lighthouse built on the Outer Banks. Until 1933 when it was electrified, the station had a principal keeper and two assistants serving at a time.
After automation in 1937, the site fell into disrepair until the nonprofit Outer Banks Conservationists renovated the station’s buildings and opened the site to the public in 1990. In 2003, the U.S. Department of the Interior awarded the organization the ownership of the lighthouse.
Meghan Agresto has been the resident site manager of the Currituck Beach Light Station for more than 16 years. Because the nearest schools are far away on the mainland, she started a school for local children and she continues to serve as board president of the Corolla Education Foundation.
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Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org