Did you know that Bald Head Island was home to a British fort and hospital in the Revolutionary War? That during the Civil War several Confederate gun emplacements helped secure the mouth of the river? That in the early 1900s visitors came to the island to hunt wild pigs? Find out the details of these stories and more on a Historic Tour from the Old Baldy Foundation.
The tour gives you a glimpse into the history of Bald Head Island from its first appearance on maps in the 1500s to the development of the island in the 1980s. Tours originate on the island at the ferry terminal in the harbor (for on-island guests) and from Deep Point Marina (for day visitors). Stops on the tour include the Old Boathouse located on Bald Head Creek, the foundation of the Cape Fear Light, and Captain Charlie’s Station, three lighthouse keeper’s cottages dating back to 1903. Tours last approximately 1.5 hours. Call 910-457-5003 for details.
CLIMB OLD BALDY
One of the prettiest sights on Bald Head Island is Old Baldy rising above the trees, looking out over the sea, marsh and harbor, and greeting you when you arrive on the ferry. Old Baldy, North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse and one of three that once graced Bald Head Island, is only a short walk from the ferry landing. Admission to the Smith Island Museum of History allows you to climb Old Baldy’s 108 steps for an incomparable view of the island. While you’re there, take a look at the artifacts in the Smith Island Museum and learn more about Bald Head Island’s seafaring history or pick up a souvenir in the gift shop.
For those wanting to delve deeper into Bald Head Island’s past, the Smith Island Museum offers self-guided audio tours.
WALK WITH GHOSTS
Have you seen a ghostly figure walking at the edge of the marsh at night? It might be an apparition of Theodosia Burr or it may be one of the guides on the Sail Shop’s Ghost Walk. Tours last about two hours and take you through more than 350 years of island history, introducing you to the tales of lighthouse keepers and lifesavers, pirates and river pilots that make up Bald Head Island legend.
The Enchanted Island Treasure Hunt and Story Hour, conducted by the Sail Shop’s troupe of professional actors and performers, allows children from the ages of 5-12 to piece together treasure map clues, cross swords with seafaring pirates, and dig for gold along the enchanted cove of North Beach. Ghost Walks and the Treasure Hunt take place regularly throughout the summer – be sure to call for the schedule and to reserve your spot.