Old Baldy celebrates its 200th birthday


BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — You’re going to need a lot of candles for North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse, Old Baldy. It celebrated its 200th birthday with an afternoon full of music, Easter egg hunts, and a cake baked in the likeness of Old Baldy.

The event was open to the public as hundreds of people came in for the big birthday celebration on Bald Head Island.

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Over the past 200 years, Old Baldy has seen a lot. Mark Prak, Old Baldy Foundation President, believes that the lighthouse’s long standing history showcases it’s importance to North Carolina.

This lighthouse has seen Native Americans. It’s seen Union and Confederate soldiers. It’s seen folks watch German U-boats off the shores during World War II. Its seen many hurricanes and a big blow of a storm and for 200 years, it stood watch over the mouth of the lower Cape Fear river,” Prak said.

Old Baldy Foundation Executive Director, Chris Webb, hopes that anyone who comes to see Old Baldy will get a learning experience out of it.

I think what I really want is for those that want to delve into the history of Southeastern North Carolina, particularly from the side of the maritime history, that they’re able to do so and that they go home learning more about what went on in this area,” Webb said.

The birthday ceremony included performances by the Howard Brothers and the Bald Head Island Chapel Choir. Many dignitaries were at the event, including Congressman David Rouzer.

North Carolina has so much rich history and Bald Head Island and Old Baldy are certainly great parts of that” Rouzer said.

Tours were free to the public that wanted to see the view from a top the lighthouse.