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Bodie Island Lighthouse 1859 Blueprints Presented to OBLHS

OBLHS helps National Park Service to Acquire Historic Bodie Island Documents

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore joined in partnership for donations from the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, Eastern National, and the park visitor's donation box at the Bodie Island Lighthouse to make this purchase possible. The $14,900.00 purchase of these rare documents will be archived into the museum collections at Cape Hatteras National Seashore after conservation and copies made available to the Outer Banks History Center and Outer Banks Lighthouse Society.

United States Lighthouse Establishment

This set of original drawings contains the contract to erect a lighthouse, assistant keeper's residence, and barracks located in the fifth lighthouse district at Body's Island, North Carolina, in the year 1858 and it is a fascinating find. This set of historical documents originates form the Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves (1811-1881) family archives. The following is an excerpt of two of the eight rare documents contained:

•  U.S. Lighthouse Establishment document, a contract agreement dated July 13, 1858, between James Murray and H.R. Hazlehurst of Baltimore, Maryland, and the United States of America. Murray and Hazlehurst are to manufacture the iron work required in the construction of a lighthouse at Body's Island, N.C. Folio, 8 pages, bearing the signatures of Murray and Hazlehurst and Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves. Topographical Engineers, U.S. Army, for the U.S. Government. The contract contains a set of written specifications.

•  A 4to., I page letter docketed "Instructions to George Smith, Body's Id." Received via the Schooner G.V. Scott and reads in full:

"With this you will receive, pr. Schr. G.V. Scott Capt Hubbard, drawings & details of the lighthouse to be erected at Body's Island N.C. together with blank forms of pay rolls, vouchers &c. The Schr. Has also all the tools, stores &c. necessary for the work at Body's Island & some of the hands engaged here. As soon as the stores & men intended for the work at Smith's Id. have been landed you will, together with such men as have been selected for the purpose from the party at Smith's Id. & after having put on board the pile driver, make sail for Body's Id. On arriving at the anchorage it is proposed to convey the materials for the L.H. from the Schr. In scows, 4 of which have been built for the purpose. The site of the L.H. is shown by an iron rod driven into the ground which makes the centre, & your first object, after having landed your stores & materials & built your barracks for the men, will be to excavate the pit for the foundation & drive the piles in the positions shown in the drawing: the piles for the purpose are already delivered & have been prepared 18 ft. long, & in every case you will drive them as far as you can without splitting.

'There are spare rooms in the Lt. Keeper's residence which you will appropriate to your own use, & when you require work for your carpenters, you will set them upon the repairs of the house, especially the porches & put it in good order. "

The OBLHS has asked that some of the originals be on limited display once a year to the public. The NPS has thanked OBLHS for its $5,000 donation towards this outstanding project.






The National Park Service, Outer Banks Group, presents OBLHS with copies of the 1859 Bodie Island Lighthouse in appreciation for the society's donation that helped the park to acquire the original plans. The plans came from the papers of Lorenzo Sitgreaves, topographical engineer, who supervised the construction of the lighthouse.