From the beginning, the light from
this lighthouse never completely illuminated the 20-mile area of
shoals that extend into the ocean. The current Bald Head Lighthouse,
nicknamed "Old Baldy," was build in 1818 about a mile from the ocean.
It was this lighthouse that the Confederate forces disabled in
January, 1865, prior to losing control of the Cape Fear River in the
battle at Fort Fisher. In the early 1900s, the Bald Head light was
downgraded to a low-intensity, steady light, and was finally
discontinued in 1935. From 1941 to 1958, Old Baldy produced a radio
beacon to direct ships into the Cape Fear River Channel in times of
fog and bad weather. Today, it emits a long steady beam as a restored
historical site on Bald Head Island.