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Outer Banks Lighthouses - Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie (pronounced “body”) Island Lighthouse is a 165 foot tall example of a coastal lighthouse. Still in use, it has a beam that can be seen for 19 nautical miles. Because it is a working lighthouse and is In need of restoration, it cannot be climbed, but the base is open to visitors and you can at least look up its 214 steps to the top.

The current lighthouse is actually the third lighthouse to be built in the area. The first one was cheaply built and abandoned due to an unstable foundation. The second was blown up by the retreating Confederate army for fear of giving the Union Army a prime lookout point. Both are long gone, ruins reclaimed by the sea due to the changing location of the Oregon Inlet.

Local folklore has it that the island, originally named “Body's Island”, was so named because of the many bodies that washed up on it from shipwrecks; but in reality it was because “Body” was the name of the family from whom the land was purchased. I think I like the folklore explanation best!

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