Monday, May 13, 2013

Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Corolla Village

We spent several days in North Carolina, along the Outer Banks, and I walked many, many miles.  Some of it was around Currituck Beach Light and the area around it, including historic Corolla Village.  It was interesting to see this area.  I started by climbing Currituck Beach Lighthouse for some great views at the top.

Some of the 200+ steps one needs to climb to get to the top.
Here is a panorama looking south and west from the platform near the top of the lighthouse.  The wind was roaring at a steady 30 knots.
Here is a bird's eye view of some of the buildings on the property from the lighthouse.
There are great views from all directions.  This one looks west towards Currituck Sound.
And this is the view to the north.  Far away, but within view, is Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  It has been nearly three months since I took my "final" hike there.  I definitely miss that place!

After touring the light, we headed around Corolla Village.  It must have been an isolated and difficult way of life when this village was the main town in this area.  Some of the buildings were built in the 1880's.  The schoolhouse, recently used for education once again, was built in the 1890's.

I would have loved to go in the chapel, but it was closed and locked up.  It had a lovely stained glass window featuring a pelican and her chicks.

While walking along, we came upon this turtle.  She started digging a nest with her hind feet a few moments later, and we left her in peace.

Even when the eggs hatch, baby turtles face a difficult life.  I found this dead one a little while later in a parking lot.  He reached a curve, which would be as insurmountable as a mountain to a baby turtle.  According to my field guide, this is a baby slider, but the map does not show them in this part of North Carolina.
We walked along a nature trail through wetlands,

visited the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and then, we toured the beautifully restored Whalehead Club, built in 1922.  At was the winter home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Knight.

Funny story - this extremely wealthy couple, unmarried at the time, both loved to duck hunt.  Duck, goose, and swan hunting was the rage among many wealthy people, and this part of North Carolina was the place to come for it.  At one point, the waterfowl were so thick that people called them "smoke."  So the Knights petitioned to join one of the many duck hunting clubs.  They were denied.  First, they were unmarried yet traveling together.  Second, the club members didn't want a woman in their midst.  So Mr. Knight didn't get mad, he got even.  He bought the 2,000 acres that the club leased for hunting, and evicted them.  Then, they built their beautiful home - something like 20,000 square feet, I think - on a prime spot on the acreage.  It is well worth a tour, and the Art Nouveau architecture and furnishings are very interesting.

We ended our three hour visit by walking past the restored boathouse for the Whalehead Club, with a nice view of the lighthouse in the background.


  1. I love those old buildings. Always thought it would be fun to turn one into a home to live in.

    To bad about the little turtle - what a cute little thing.

    Wow that sure is high up there. Did you get dizzy going round and round up the stairs? What great views from up there.

  2. It was really neat to see. It is nice to see the little school house being used before. The little turtle was cute - I was sorry not to have gotten there before he died. The views were great from the lighthouse, and no, I didn't get dizzy going up. Maybe if I raced up but not at a steady walk.