NPS Celebrating 20th Anniversary of Hatteras Lighthouse Move

Posted By on April 26, 2019

National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac invites the public to a special event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move on July 1, 2019.

The free event will start at 9:30 a.m. near the lighthouse in Buxton, on Hatteras Island.

The 20th anniversary of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move celebration on July 1st will include speeches, a question and answer session with expert panelists, artifacts from the lighthouse move, expanded interpretive ranger talks, activities for children, and free lighthouse climbing. The Outer Banks Lighthouse Society and Outer Banks Forever are partnering with Cape Hatteras National Seashore to make this event memorable for visitors and the local community.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse started its epic “move of the century” journey on June 17, 1999. After the lighthouse was lifted, the tower moved 2,900 feet over the course of 23 days to its current location. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, sentinel of the perilous Diamond Shoals, where the Gulf Stream meets the Labrador Current, witness to the tragic sinking and triumphant rescues claimed by the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” resumed its duties on November 13, 1999 and continues to do so to this day.

Read on for the schedule of events.

At 9:30 a.m., Bett Padgett (past president of the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society) will kick off the 20th Anniversary of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Move Celebration event in her role as Mistress of Ceremonies. The first 45 minutes to 1 hour will feature a series of speakers.
  • David Hallac, Superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina
  • Scott Babinowich, Chief of Interpretation, Cape Hatteras NS/Fort Raleigh NHS/Wright Brothers NMEM
  • Bob Woodard, Chair, Dare County Board of Commissioners
  • Dr. Stanley Riggs, Distinguished Research Professor of Geology, East Carolina University
  • Bob Woody, NPS Public Information Officer during the move
  • Terry Ann Jennette Ponton, Granddaughter of Unaka Jennette, last keeper of the lighthouse
  • Dr. Robert Young, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Western Carolina University
  • Danny Couch, Commissioner, Dare County Board of Commissioners, Hatteras Island Historian
Following the speaker portion of the event, a panelist question and answer session will be moderated by Aida Havel, Outer Banks Lighthouse Society board member.
  • Mike Booher, official photographer for the move
  • Joe Jakubik, Project Manager, International Chimney Corporation
  • Jerry Matyiko, Principal, Expert House Movers
  • Reid Thomas, Restoration Specialist, NC State Historic Preservation Office
  • Danny Couch
  • Dr. Stanley Riggs
  • Bob Woody
Between the speaker section and the panelist discussion, Bett Padgett will perform her song “If I Were A Lighthouse.” After Superintendent Hallac provides closing comments, Mojo Collins will perform his song “Hope of Diamond Shoals.”
Cape Hatteras National Seashore wishes to thank the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society and Outer Banks Forever for their help with planning and supporting this special event.
Other details:
  • Lighthouse climbs are free as part of the anniversary celebration of the lighthouse move and to encourage people to experience the view from the top of the lighthouse where the move path, old site, and shoreline changes can be seen firsthand. Climbing hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Join a ranger at the old lighthouse site at 2:30 p.m. to hear stories of the move while walking the 2,900-foot move path between the old and new sites.
  • Artifacts from the move, along with posters describing the details of the move, are on display in the Double Keepers’ Quarters.
  • Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, Outer Banks Forever, NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum will have informational tables near the Double Keepers’ Quarters.

In addition to the lighthouse move celebration, park rangers will present daily interpretive lighthouse move programs beginning May 3 and continuing through October 14. From June 17 through July 9 (the anniversary of the 23 day lighthouse move), expanded interpretive programming will take place on the grounds of Cape Hatteras Light Station.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, June 30, 1999 (NPS photo)

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, June 30, 1999 (NPS photo)


Posted by Matt Artz

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