Hatteras Lighthouse foundation stones threatened

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm •  Published: January 26, 2014

"In order to preserve them, they must be moved," Padgett said.

In a letter dated June 14, 2013, she wrote to Trimble that the current society members and the society founders "unanimously disapprove of allowing the stones to be covered by sand and sea, just as they did not want that to happen to the light itself."

Cleaning the stones involves far more than a broom and a shovel. They're so covered with sand that Trimble, who became the seashore superintendent in October 2012, has never seen them. The stones would have to be placed in slings and lifted by heavy equipment such as a front-end loader, then placed on top of the sand.

Taylor said she doesn't know of anyone who believes the stones should stay where they are.

"They're as much a part of the lighthouse as the bricks and windows," said Dawn Taylor, who has family connections to 16 of the light keepers. "They're the foundation for it."

In 1999, when the lighthouse was moved 2,900 feet from the spot where it was built in 1870, the society members were so relieved to protect the lighthouse that they didn't worry about the stones, said Bruce Roberts of the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society.

"We were willing to compromise and trusted the park to do the right thing," he said, referring to the National Park Service. "The park is very sensitive about its moral obligation to preserve history."

The issue has the attention of Rep. Walter Jones, who has written to Trimble urging the Park Service to ensure "that these important pieces of eastern North Carolina history survive for future generations to visit."

He plans to write a second letter, urging the Park Service to meet with the groups that want to preserve the stones "with the understanding that maintaining the stones will likely mean they will need to be relocated at some point," spokeswoman Sarah Howard wrote in an email.


Follow Martha Waggoner at http://twitter.com/mjwaggonernc

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