The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

September 21, 2012

Oakboro shines light on lighthouse collectors

Friday, September 21, 2012 — The Oakboro Regional Museum of History introduced a bright new exhibit within their rotational display of lighthouses. “Pharology, the study of lighthouses,” proclaims a sign upon entering the tower bedecked room.  

“Perhaps the most famous lighthouse in history is the lighthouse of Alexandria, built on the island of Pharos in Hellenistic Egypt,” informs a posting pasted on the wall. It goes on to tell that the term “Pharos” is still used as the noun for “lighthouse” in many languages today.

The room is stocked to the brim with any form of lighthouse imaginable. One display case features lighthouse replicas from North Carolina, ranging from the Cape Hatteras lighthouse to the Bald Head Island lighthouse. Another case presents craft items with the lighthouse theme. These items include a lighthouse shaped pen, a snow globe, painted bottles, Christmas ornaments and a glass wind chime.

Information on N.C. and U.S. lighthouses is generously spaced throughout the display, detailing the history of these towers: Bodie Island lighthouse received its name from the bodies that used to wash ashore from shipwrecks. Furthermore, the museum even has a TV airing “The North Carolina Lighthouse Tour.”

Handmade models of NC lighthouses can be viewed in the front window of the museum. The models are on loan courtesy of Oakboro Elementary School.

Jane Barnhardt organized and installed the display.  Barnhardt is one of the founding directors of the museum, along with Robert P. Barbee and Claudette B. Love back in 1999.  

“Lighthouses are an interest of many people. This exhibit idea started with a N.C. sea shell display that I organized at the Oakboro Library,” Barnhardt said.

“Lighthouses are an important part of North Carolina's history. Over 2,000 ships have been lost off of the coast of North Carolina.

“One hundred, 200 years ago, freight ships were the only means of transporting goods across large distances. The lighthouses helped these ships sail to safety. At Wilmington, there is a series of lighthouses that guided ships into the channels.”

According to Barnhardt, North Carolina is home to one of the last two lighthouses built in America, the Oak Island lighthouse (1958).

As modern methods of navigation became more prevalent, the use of lighthouses began to wane.  

The Oakboro Regional Museum of History offers several permanent displays, as well. Termed “Windows into the Past” these displays are Ancient Life of the Rocky River, People of the Region, Churches and Schools, Genealogy and Rural Life, just to name a few.

The Oakboro Regional Museum of History only features history from the Old Oakboro School District and surrounding region.

The museum maintains four different rotating exhibits throughout the year. The lighthouses will be on display through October.

The exhibit opened on Aug. 25 in time for the monthly Oakboro Cruise-In. Barnhardt reported that about 50 people were in attendance at the museum.

Barnhardt wishes to thank Ricky and Shirley Edwards, Chris Gilbert, Evelyn Hatley and Oakboro Elementary for loaning their lighthouse collections to the museum.

Admission to the museum is free, however, donations are always welcome.

The museum is open 2-4 p.m. Sunday and Monday and 10 a.m.-noon Thursday.


Text Only
Local News
  • Youth Choir State youth choir shares message in scripture, song

    They came, they sang, they shared a message.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lending A Hand Red Cross, YMCA discuss emergency preparedness

    They may not be in the Coast Guard, or even in the Boy Scouts, but the kids at this year’s YMCA camp can now say they follow the same motto: always be prepared.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dragon Boat Resident wants to bring boat races to Stanly

    Ann Pressly is not ripping herself off with the idea of bringing dragon boat racing to Stanly County. She is just taking advantage of a good thing and something that is gaining in popularity.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board hopeful files to oppose Poole

    District 1 Board of Education member Melvin Poole has something he has not had since 1998, an opponent.

    July 21, 2014

  • Crisco died of heart issues

    An autopsy report released this week indicates former secretary of commerce Keith Crisco died from heart problems.

    July 18, 2014

  • Stanly projects stall

    Barring any major changes in the next couple of months it is unlikely that any highway projects in Stanly County will receive funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation next year.

    July 18, 2014

  • 4-H Students ‘power up’ over summer break

    “The Magic of Electricity” flowed freely at Stanly Community College recently as 15 youth, ages 9-13, gathered in an electronics lab for a 4-H Summer Blast class which had advertised that the youth would be “shocked” at what they could do.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker RNG powers to grid

    Two months after connecting to the power grid for the first time, Tucker RNG found itself featured in Biomass Magazine.

    July 16, 2014

  • Park Ranger #1 Children test knowledge of Morrow Mtn. ranger

    Ever since the TV show “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” folks can’t help but wonder how they would match up with the grade schoolers in their lives.

    July 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council calls on residents to share opinions on STI

    After hearing about the changes the state’s new Strategic Transportation Investment program could have on roads in the area, the Badin Town Council is calling its citizens to action.

    July 14, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide