Saturday, March 19, 2011

Price's Creek Lighthouse

From the Southport (NC) Times article by Lisa Arnold.

This lighthouse was used during the Civil War, primarily for blockade-runners using the Cape Fear River.

Price's Creek Front Light, which still stands at the river's edge by the Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry, was 20 feet tall with three foot thick walls constructed entirely of bricks brought over from England.

The Rear Light was a wooden structure atop the lighthouse keeper's house farther away from the river. Line up the two lights and you didn't have to worry about running aground.

During the Civil War,  it was a signal station for communications between Fort Fisher and Fort Caswell and run by the Confederate States Signal Corps. It also served military and civilian blockade-runners.

The wooden tower atop the house had extensive damage during the war and eventually disintegrated over time. Bricks from the house were later used to construct other homes in the Southport area.

When the Confederates lost control of the Cape Fear River in 1865, they destroyed seven of eight lighthouse structures in hopes of impeding the Union naval advance up the river. Price's Creek Front Light was the only one to survive. but it had been heavily damaged and was never used again.

Today, the Price's Creek Light is on private property on land owned by Archer Daniels Midland Corporation. Preservation groups have tried to get them to restore it, but those efforts have been refused.

A Little-Known Lighthouse. --Old B-Runner

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