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by Buddy Urbach

It was a thrill to climb to the top of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse around 8:30 am with Scott Whitesides, Curator of the NC Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island. He took me into the lantern room for the first photo of the fourth order Fresnel lens with its cover off. I even purchased the first Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse t-shirt that was sold.

At noon, the dedication ceremony got underway with the Presentation of Colors by US Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet, welcoming remarks by Manteo Mayor John Wilson IV, and singing of the National Anthem by Forrest Warren. During the ceremony the oldest living lighthouse keeper, it is claimed, Wayland Baum, 100 years-young, and the descendents of past lighthouse keepers were recognized.

At the end of the ceremony was the ribbon cutting, lighting of the light, and ringing of the bell.

Starting at noon, the Town of Manteo had food for all who were present except that they ran out of food! They had planned for at least 300 people but many more attended!

Inside the new lighthouse, the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, Chesapeake Chapter of the US Lighthouse Society, Cape Henry Lighthouse, the Outer Banks History Center, and Outer Banks Light-house Lovers Harbour Lights Club had tables full of information on each organization and logo items for sale - - a big hit! OBLHS had eight enthusiastic people in attendance to work our table.

It was very festive, and we had a huge number of visitors to our OBLHS table…so we made some new friends. OBLHS president, Bett Padgett, sang wonderful maritime heritage songs.

The lens was lit for the first time, and many of us went back after dark to get the full effect.

A good time was had by all and it was a great day for the lighthousing community.

This Site Last Updated: Wednesday February 15, 2006 5:34 PM