Monday, July 18, 2011

Bald Head Island Lighthouse: Vacation pics #2

Good Morning all, I think I'll wash my face while Mom takes over the blog to tell you all about Bald Head Island Lighthouse.
I've already heard the story and frankly it sounded like all they did was climb steps and sweat profusely.  I'm glad I stayed home.
Ok Mom it is your turn.....
Thanks Madi.....
Bald Head Island Lighthouse is also called Old Baldy
because the river pilots used to stand on the dunes watching for ships that needed help.  Eventually the dunes became so worn down they looked like a bald head...thus Old Baldy.
 It was the first lighthouse structure in North Carolina and was completed and lit in 1795.  It was built too close to the Cape Fear River which caused erosion issues. The new octagonal tower was completed and first illuminated in 1817.  The cost of the new tower was $16,000.00.  The base is 36' wide, it is 109' tall and is made of brick and coated with cement.
 Front door leading into the interior.
 The interior walls at the base are 5' thick.  At its top is is 14.5' wide and the walls are 2' thick
 Steps to the top photo below details the statistics of Old Baldy
 I took this picture from the first floor looking 109' up to the cupola of the lighthouse. The dark spot at the in the center is the very top
This was the beginning of the 108 steps that  my hubby and I were determined to climb.  There were 5 landings
 and last but not least the 9' ladder we had to climb  to get to the cupola. The opening into the cupola was just barely wide enough for my hubby to squeeze through but it lead to these fantastic views.Yes that is my reflection in the glass. 

 By the time we arrived at the top we were absolutely dripping say it was H O T was an understatement. There was no ventilation at the top. My brain was so fried I didn't even think to take a photo of the cupola opening until I was at the bottom.  Sorry but I was not climbing back up 108 steps...use your imagination...
Back in the 1700's they made their own bricks on the island.  This is a brick making contraption.
 Replica of the lighthouse keeper's kitchen which was in a separate building from the lighthouse and his home just in case there was a fire.
 Old Baldy has always been one of my favorite lighthouses but this was my first visit.  I cannot take enough pictures of it. Nor can I believe I climbed to the top

 Fort George on Bald Head Island was a Revolutionary War Fort per the below sign.  "It  was constructed by the British troops in 1776 to defend the island and their warships.
American forces attacked the fort but were repulsesd in early September 1776.  This was believed to be the first amphibious operation in American military history."
Bald Head Island is 14 miles long.  The beaches are some of the most pristine in the N.C.  It is only accessible by ferry. No private vehicles are allowed on the island. The ferry leaves the from Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC every hour on the hour and departs from the Island on the half hour.  The ferry operates 365 days a year.  Hours of operation vary with the seasons. Once there you may either walk or rent golf carts during your stay. There are a few year round residents on the island; however, it is mostly a vacation destination.   There are approximately 76 locations for accommodations and there is an island real estate agency.


  1. Cool! Mom likes lighthouses a lot! Thanks for sharing! We can understand not walking back up those 108 steps!!

  2. I love the photo from the bottom looking up, it really gives an idea of the height. You two were very determined to climb those 108 steps in the heat but that view looks like it was well worth it. That old brick making contraption is fascinating, I have never seen such a thing.


  3. I saw lighthouses and came right over, all them steps in a tight space to!! thanks for showing us, you know mom just loves lighthouses don't know why!! fancy that its in a place called fort George!!!
    Have a good week
    See You Soon George with mom looking over my shoulder, lol got to go!!! xxx

  4. I love the photo when your mom took it from the first floor looking 109' up to the cupola of the lighthouse. That's interesting !

    Thanks Madi to share with us

  5. Those are some great photos! Very interesting place! Miss Mindy sends her love to Madi!

  6. Wow, congrats to your mom and dad for climbing to the top, that's amazing. And in the extreme heat too. We hope they had lots of water with them! The view certainly was worth it, though!

  7. How beautiful Madi's Mom. And congrats fur climbing ALL the way to the top! What a workout!

  8. Wow, that was quite a climb!!! Bald Head Island looks like an interesting place, nice there are no cars allowed :-)

  9. Great and interesting photos. You deserve huge applause for making it up (and back down) all those steps!

  10. VERY cool! AND interesting! Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Neat pictures Mom.

    I've been doing that sweating profusely part with no stair climbing. Just have to walk outside.

    My lil sis works for a brick company. I bet they're glad they don't have to use that old machine.

  12. Holy cow! We Cats would LOVE to thunder up and down all those stairs!

  13. What a fascinating tour. Thank you very much. I had never heard of it, but, it looks like it has played an important part in history. Imagine a building whose walls are five feet thick at the bottom! It also sounds like the island would be a good place to take a lazy vacation. I'll have to look it up.

  14. Can't believe you climbed to the TOP!!
    Well, I actually do believe you - you know what I mean. What a lovely place.
    BTW, are you sore at all from climbing all those stairs?

  15. You are a most beautiful tour guide, Mads!!!!!!!!

  16. That is very interesting! I have never been inside a lighthouse but have always loved them. Congratulations on climbing all of those many many steps!! I don't think I would have made it!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  17. Thanks for the tour. What a wonderful lighthouse. Beautiful view.

    pawhugs, Max

  18. Wow! Thanks fur sharing. Kudos to you fur climbin up all those stairs! Great pics, too! Purrs from Prancer to Madi.

  19. 108 stairs!!! OMD!!! You know I don't do stairs. Thanks for the tour.

    My mom has visited the northern east coast (MA and Maine), but she has never explored the southern east coast. She really hopes to visit NC and SC some day because both look beautiful!

    Thanks so much for your kindness and good wishes for Sweet Pea. We are spoiling him like crazy. He just had REAL tuna for dinner - and no, I didn't get any!

    Your pal,Pip

  20. Wow that is really fascinating.
    WE can't imagine what it must be like to be an island resident. Think how time consuming it must be to get groceries!

    We love lighthouses too.

  21. I loved your post!
    That place sure is very interesting and beautiful!
    Happy Monday!
    Kisses and hugs

  22. You know what? Now that I see the photos, I remember visiting the lighthouse w/ my parents, years ago! Even your reflection in the glass looks hot!
    Madi, you need to try and show a bit more interest...teeheehee!

  23. How beautiful!! I giggled at the no smoking sign at the bottom of the steps. I'm thinking if someone smoked they could never make it up all those stairs!!

    Thanks for sharing it with us!!
    Dory Mama

  24. What an interesting lighthouse! And what a beautiful view!!! Oh my! I think I would have melted away - just can't do that heat any more!! You must have had a wonderful time... (aside from the heat). HI MADI!

  25. Madi this virtual tour of your parents vacation has been informative and I enjoyed seeing it. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Oh, I love lighthouses. This one is gorgeous and they are all fascinating. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  27. Gosh, I am glad I asked where that chapel was. That sounds like a great place for a vacation. Nothing better than a nice quiet island. I can't believe that climbed to the top. That was quite a feat. Great pictures and thanks for the history. Take care.


Please leave a meow or bark for Madi...her assistant (aka Mom) will respond in a timely fashion. =^..^=
Life is short, spend it with those who make you laugh