March 23rd, 2021
The Keeper's Times 

The Old Baldy Foundation Community Newsletter
Spring Operations at Old Baldy!

March Hours and Operations: 

Thursday-Saturday: 10-4
(last lighthouse climb at 3 pm)

April Hours and Operations:

Tuesday- Saturday:10-4
(last lighthouse climb at 3 pm)
COVID-19 Operation Details
 The lighthouse and museum remain open in compliance with local and state COVID-19 regulations. We have enforced the following regulations to ensure a safe experience at our facilities! 
Only one group/family in the lighthouse or shop at one time.
No cash will be accepted- only card transactions.
Face coverings will be required.
The bathroom facilities will remain closed.
Hand sanitizer will be available for all shoppers.
We can't wait to see everyone safely and responsibly! 
Welcome to our new Educator,
Hunter Ingram!

The rich history of Bald Head Island has had a revival of interest over the previous few years as the Old Baldy Foundation has grown! Much of this interest can be attested to a growing staff dedicated to sharing the many stories and histories of Bald Head Island and the Cape Fear. Many of our readers know, our last educator Travis Gilbert has moved onto a new career opportunity. With his departure, a search began to fill this integral position within our organization, and candidates reached out from near and far. After speaking with many interested professionals, it turns out the perfect candidate was in our backyard all along. The Old Baldy Foundation is thrilled to announce the hiring of Hunter Ingram to our staff! 

Hunter Ingram joins the Old Baldy in March 2021. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2013 with a Bachelors in Communication/Media Studies, before coming to the Cape Fear region to write about local history and the North Carolina film industry for the Wilmington StarNews. Hunter is a devoted storyteller and lifelong lover of history, who is excited about sharing the centuries of stories that define Old Baldy and Bald Head Island. In his spare time, he watches a lot of television and visits as many historic sites as possible. Hunter has made it his goal to climb to the top of Old Baldy every day he is on the island. Two weeks in and he is off to a great start!

Be sure to stop by Old Baldy this spring to meet Hunter! He will be all around our campus working in the office, gift shop, and soon to be offering historic tours. As Hunter settles into his position, he will be popping onto our social media channels with lots of virtual history!

Historic Happy Hour Returns for 2021!

Since 2018, Historic Happy Hour's have been a favorite of the BHI communities. Even as these events moved to a virtual platform due to COVID-19, they continued to be a popular offering!

We are thrilled to present our first Historic Happy Hour of 2021 on April 7th at 5 pm onsite at Old Baldy! Come and hear from our guest speaker Katy Menne of the Southport Maritime Museum!

This year the Historic Happy Hour series will be presented at no cost! Food and beverage will not be provided for COVID-19 safety, but guests are encouraged to BYOB! Guests count will be limited to 40 attendees. Social distancing will be required, and guests must bring their own seating (beach chairs, blankets, etc.) Although there is no cost to attend, reservations must be made in advance.
Island Wide Historic Tours Return in April!
Great news! Old Badly will begin offering our signature and sell-out program of island-wide historic tours again this April! Our new educator, Hunter Ingram, will be taking this program over. Even if you have enjoyed this tour in the past, don't miss taking Hunter's tour, as he will bring a fresh perspective to our island history! 

The tours are offered every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday at 10:30 am. Find more details about this experience for both island residents and visitors from the mainland at the link below! 
A new season means it is time to refresh your annual pass!

Are you an annual pass holder at Old Baldy?! As we gear up for a brighter year in 2021, it is the perfect time to ensure your annual pass is up to date. If you are not a part of our annual pass program, follow the link below to learn about the perks included in supporting Old Baldy in this way!

Need to renew or are interested in becoming a member? Follow the link below!
March History Moment

The history of Bald Head is engraved into the names of the roadways we use to travel the island today. Most roadways are entitled “wynd,” which is a Scottish word meaning a rural, winding road. Scottish nomenclature is fitting for Bald Head Island because more Highland Scots emigrated into the Cape Fear River Valley than any other region in colonial America. Roadways paying tribute to the Cape Fear’s scottish heritage include Kinross Court and Inverness Court, which are named after towns in Scotland. The Scottish islands of Killegray and Skye are also featured as roads on Bald Head. 

        In the Cape Fear Station neighborhood, most roads are named after United States Life-Saving Service Stations in North Carolina. The U.S. Life-Saving Service is a precursor to the Coast Guard founded in 1871 to rescue distressed mariners. North Carolina claimed twenty-nine stations along its coastline. Two Life-Saving Service Stations operated on Bald Head Island. The first station stood north of the Shoals Club on East Beach from 1883 until 1913. The second station operated along South Beach near South Bald Head Wynd’s intersection with Muscadine Wynd from 1913 until 1945. Other North Carolina stations included Kitty Hawk, Kinnakeet, Chicamacomico, Ocracoke, and Portsmouth. All these stations are immortalized in Cape Fear Station’s roadways. Another Cape Fear Station roadway, named Sumner’s Crescent, pays homage to Sumner Kimball, a long-time Superintendent of the U.S. Life-Saving Service.

        Much of Bald Head Island’s colonial history is featured in the roadways. Earl of Craven Court is named after William Craven, one of the eight Lord Proprietors who received land in the New World from King Charles II to establish the Colony of Carolina. During the proprietor’s ownership of North Carolina, pirates used the colony’s estuaries and sounds as havens. Pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, and Stede Bonnet have wynds on Bald Head Island. Stede Bonnet’s foe, Colonel William Rhett, is also represented by a trail. Bonnet and Rhett battled one another in the Cape Fear River in late September, 1718. Colonel Rhett prevailed during the battle and hanged Bonnett in Charles Town that December.
Other road names attributed to history include Fort Holmes Trail, named after the Civil War fortification on Bald Head Island. Another roadway is named after Capt’n Charlie, the principal keeper of Cape Fear Light Station from 1903 - 1933. Capt’n Charlie traveled from the boathouse located in the saltwater marsh to the lighthouse via Federal Road, named after the federal government who cut the roadbed while constructing Cape Fear Light Station. 
Wherever you are on Bald Head Island, you are surrounded by history, and whenever you need a reminder of our heritage, just take a look at which road you’re traveling upon.

Behind the Scenes

Every winter, the Old Baldy Foundation closes in order to prepare for the coming year. This time allows the staff to work on projects that they might not have time to complete during normal operations. One of the projects the team worked on this winter was adding over 800 pages of new information to our digital subject files. The information is a mixture of notes taken when board member Kim Gotshall visited the National Archives in Washington D.C. and original documents she photographed or scanned during her visits. Not even the National Archives has this information available online!  

A big portion of the documents scanned were the Cape Fear Light Station’s logbooks from November 1911 through May 1929. This information allows us to have a glimpse into how the station functioned. Additionally, during her several visits, Kim outlined the information she found and accompanied them with some primary sources. Some of the original documents she photographed or scanned date back to the 1790s. Through our online subject files, you can read about the creation of the original lighthouse, the appointment of lighthouse keepers, some of Old Baldy’s repairs over the years, and the materials used to construct Cape Fear Light Station.
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