Roanoke River Light Now in Edenton’s Colonial Park 

   -- first published in Lighthouse News, Vol. XVIII, 2012; by Cheryl Shelton-Roberts



Built in 1886, the fully restored Roanoke River Lighthouse now stands proudly in the harbor at Edenton, NC.  The lighthouse first served as a guide for ships navigating the waters of the Albemarle Sound into the Roanoke River, and then, after being decommissioned in 1941, was moved by barge across the sound to private land, where it ultimately deteriorated as a neglected residence.


 The historic Roanoke River Lighthouse initially was moved from its original location at the mouth of the Roanoke River in Albemarle Sound by Emmett Wiggins in the 1950s. He loaded it on a barge, landed it at the mouth of Filbert’s Creek in Edenton, and, being the enterprising mechanical genius that he was, proceeded to build a spit of land around the parked barge. This became the small cottage-style lighthouse’s new location for half a century. Summer 2013, the demure light made yet another journey to property belonging to the Edenton Historical Commission that is now its new home and where it has undergone complete restoration.


The lighthouse is one of the few remaining screwpile lighthouses in America. It looks just as it did during the early 1890s when it was in service more than a century ago. Long-time admirers of this historic structure will be relieved to know that it is in good hands and is cared for by the Edenton Historical Commission. After passing to the state of North Carolina, structural restoration work was completed with volunteer donations while furnishings were gathered.


Visit the light in Edenton’s Colonial Park. It is now officially open to the public seven days a week, 10 am until 4pm. A modest fee is charged by Historic Edenton State Historic Site that directly benefits the site.



© 2012 OBLHS

Cheryl Shelton-Roberts