150th Anniversary

On the evening of November 1, 1859, Lighthouse Keeper John Royal climbed the 216 steps to the lantern carrying a 5 gallon container of whale oil. Carefully stepping inside the giant glass lens, Keeper Royal filled the lamp with oil and installed and carefully trimmed the wicks. Then exactly at sunset, Keeper Royal lit the lamp and the new Cape Lookout Lighthouse shone its light out to sea for the first time.

For 150 years the Cape Lookout Lighthouse has faithfully warned ships of the location of the Cape Lookout Shoals. Join us as we celebrate the anniversary of the lighthouse.


Anniversary Events:

October 2009: Cape Lookout Lighthouse 150th Anniversary Juried Art & Photography Exhibition hosted at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center on Harkers Island.

On exhibit will be paintings and photos of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

A separate children's exhibition will feature art work from the local schools.

Exhibition dates are October 10 - November 1, 2009.

Are you an artist or photographer who would like to have your work shown at this juried event? See the elegibility requirements and artwork criteria in the attached event application.

October 10, 2009: Saturday at the Lighthouse

150th Celebration events and 150 years of Service Ceremony program (pdf, 49 kb)

10:00 AM -- Activities begin at the lighthouse

Activities include:

  • Music on Keepers' Quarters porch
  • Children's programs
  • A US Coast Guard boat at the dock for visiting
  • A book signing
  • The Cape Lookout Post Office will be temporarily re-opened.

1:00 PM Special Program to recognize the Lighthouse Keepers, their descendants, and others

2:00 PM Lighthouse Birthday Cake is served (open to all)

3:00 PM End of Day

NOTE: In case of rain or high winds -- event will be held at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center located on Harkers Island.

To reach the lighthouse requires a boat ride, either your own or on a ferry. The list of ferry operators is available here.

November 1, 2009 -- Sunday -- Shell Point on Harkers Island

5:00 PM Ceremonial re-lighting of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


(252) 728-2250

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