This was the last lighthouse built along the Outer Banks. Because it is important for each light to be a unique landmark, they are given different designs that are easy to recognize from the ocean. But because the other lighthouses in the area all had unique paint jobs, they decided that they could leave this one unpainted and that would be unique in itself (and save some money).
[Row 1; No. 2]
The staircase is only a half spiral. The other half of the staircase consists of platforms. The eyehole at the middle of the platform held a rope that was part of the winding mechanism of the light before there was electricity. As a weight on rope lowered to the floor, it spun the light at a constant speed, much like a grandfather clock. The weight had to be lifted back in position every 2-1/2 hours. The floor at the bottom consists of black and white marble tiles.
[Row 1; No. 4]
The staircase parts were forged at the Phoenix Iron Company of Philadelphia (proof). They were one of the first iron and steel mills to use standardized shapes in construction, including the Phoenix column which was used widely in skyscrapers and bridges of the day.
[Row 2; No. 1]
The lightkeepers' house is a duplex built to house the families of both of the lightkeepers. The two units are symmetrical right down the middle. A third house was added later off to the right. Notice the use of a rainwater collection system that provided the lightkeepers with a source of fresh water. The third house is now the lighthouse store, but the original duplex is apparently still being used.
[Row 2; Nos. 2 & 3]
Looking North and South respectively you can see how narrow the land is, with the ocean on one side and the bay on the other.
[Row 2; No. 4]
The Whalehead Shooting Club was built by a man who wasn't able to join the local all-male shooting club with his wife. The building is under renovation.
[Row 3; No. 1]
At the bottom of the lighthouse is a shallow brick well with an iron rail around it. This well held the extra rope when the weights that ran the light were lifted to the top. Now it holds pennies.
[Row 3; No. 4]
Looking out one of the windows at the lightkeepers' house below.