The Bodie Island Lighthouse had to be built three times! The current lighthouse is the actually the third structure to be called “Bodie Island Light Station”.
The first attempt in 1857, was poorly constructed, and had to be abandoned in just two years after it started to lean. The second try was successfully finished in 1859, just in time to be blown up by the retreating Confederate Army in 1861.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse, as it stands today, was completed in 1871 and still has its original Fresnel lens which magnified its first light in October 1872. The extensive renovations to the light will be completed in April 2013. There will be a re-lighting ceremony on April 18th, 2013 and visitors will once again be able to climb the lighthouse on April 19th. The restored keeper’s quarters are being used as a visitor center and gift shop, and the surrounding area has exhibits and historical markers.
The adjacent marsh is famous in the bird-watching community as one of the best year round birding destinations on the east coast. There is an extensive self-directed nature trail near the lighthouse that is open to the public. Visitors can stand on an elevated platform and view different species of birds in a nearby fresh water pond. The Bodie Island Lighthouse is located about 5 miles south of Whalebone Junction on Hwy 12 between Nags Head and Oregon Inlet.