Ocracoke Lighthouse Double Keepers' Quarters

The distinctive red-tin roof of the historic Double Keepers' Quarters is nestled in with trees next to the Ocracoke Lighthouse.
Historic quarters and the lighthouse

Quick Facts
Ocracoke, NC
Historic Structure

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot

This building was constructed with the lighthouse in 1823. As duties at the lighthouse increased, an assistant keeper position was established. To house the additional keeper and his family, a second story was built onto the original quarters in 1897, and another section was added in 1929. The building is currently closed to the public.

Keeping the Light

Keepers at this light station performed a wide range of duties. Maintaining the buildings and grounds, hauling oil, trimming wicks, and polishing the lens were part of a well-trained lightkeeper's life.

Ocracoke lighthouse keepers also fished, hunted waterfowl, raised livestock, and planted gardens. Due to the proximity of the village, the keepers and their families enjoyed a social life on Ocracoke and their children were schooled in the village. The US Lighthouse Service provided a traveling library to their isolated employees. Cases of library books were circulated every six months to light stations along the coasts.

During hurricanes, the light station served as a place of refuge for some local residents. Situated on higher ground, the complex often remained above flood waters. Villagers, sometimes arriving by boats which navigated inundated roadways, waited out the storm in the keepers' home.

Storage Shed

Located between the keepers' quarters and the lighthouse, this small building of board and batten construction with a steep gabled roof with shingles of wood was constructed to act as a storage shed.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Last updated: March 19, 2021