Old Baldy Lighthouse
Old Baldy was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. A Federal octagon lighthouse, it is North Carolina's oldest standing lighthouse, and was an active maritime navigational aid from 1818 to 1935. There have been three lighthouse on Bald Head island..the first (1795-1813), "Old Baldy" (1817-1935) and Cape Fear (1903-1958).
Keeper's Cottage (The Smith Island Museum of History)
Built in 2000, this is an historic replica of the cottage in which the keepers' lived in between the 1850s-1880s. Three rooms are open to the public, the living room, bedroom and kitchen. Often the keeper and his family planted a kitchen garden and cared for small livestock, while main food staples were brought over from Smithville (Southport). Purchase Lighthouse and museum tickets here.
Old Baldy Gift Shop (in the Cottage)
Here you'll find just the right gift, souvenier, or whimsy. Everything purchased at this store helps to support Old Baldy and the historic preservation efforts of the Foundation.
Who We Are: Old Baldy Foundation
In 1985, group of dedicated individuals founded the Old Baldy Foundation, a public not-for-profit 501-c3 organization dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of Old Baldy Lighthouse. The Old Baldy Foundation is governed by an eleven member board of directors and managed by an executive director. The lighthouse and property on which Old Baldy stands and the current Smith Island Museum were deeded over to the Old Baldy Foundation by the Mitchell Family in 1987.
For years visitors to Old Baldy could climb literally “at their own risk”. In 1991 the Old Baldy Foundation launched a campaign, “Steps to the Top”, to repair the steps to the top of the lighthouse. Between 1991 and 1995 Old Baldy Foundation raised over $125,000 for renovation efforts.
In 1997 plans were developed to recreate one of the three keepers’ cottages that stood on the site. The Old Baldy Foundation undertook a loan to finance the building of this one and a half story building. It now holds a small gift shop, museum exhibits and office space for staff. In 2000, upon opening this museum and gift shop the Old Baldy Foundation started to charge admission to see the museum and climb Old Baldy. Those fees, and the proceeds from the gift shop, are set aside for maintenance and long term preservation work.