Sunday, December 22, 2013

Please sign this petition to preserve Hatteras Lighthouse Keeper Stones

 Letter by Dawn Taylor

We the descendants of those who manned the Historic Cape Hatteras Light Station located on North Carolina's Outer Banks and citizens of the United States,are petitioning NC Congressman Walter Jones and the National Park Service to preserve and protect the original granite foundation stones which bear the names and dates of our forefathers who honorably gave of themselves to provide those at sea a beacon in which to safely navigate the dangerous waters known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved back 1,600 feet to protect it from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean.After the move the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society spent almost $12,000 to have the original granite stones which had been cut away from the lighthouse foundation, engraved with the names and dates of all of the keepers of the Hatteras light. The stones were then arranged in a circle to mark the original location of the historic lighthouse.

Over the years, due to coastal storms,this historic site which mean so much to the keeper descendants and lighthouse enthusiast alike,has been covered with sand and the stones scattered around by waves. Just as the lighthouse was moved for preservation's sake, we want these stones to also be maintained and protected from the sea.They represent such a large part of our island's heritage and history.

In May of 2013, in a letter to the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, seashore superintendent Barclay Trimble said, “Because of coastal processes, namely shoreline erosion and dune migration, the stones have routinely become covered with sand requiring substantial effort to keep them uncovered.”

The National Park Service has also responded by stating that it no longer intends to keep maintaining the stones due to it being no longer practical to keep uncovering and rearranging the stones after each storm. To most, this is an unacceptable answer.

Each year,especially through peak tourist season, thousands visit the lighthouse per day and purchase Climbing Tour Tickets at $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens. It is not hard to do the math and to see that indeed, there are funds out there to preserve the site we are petitioning.

These original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Foundation Stones located at the original lighthouse site,with the names of our forefather's etched in their remembrance, should be preserved. We the lighthouse descendants and all who cherish and honor it's existence are hereby joining together by the creation of this petition to make our voices heard and to see  that these cherished stones will still be there for future generations to visit, just as we have.


Dawn Farrow Taylor
President - Cape Hatteras Genealogical and Preservation Society

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