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Oregon Inlet Coast Guard Station


Oregon Inlet was formed when a hurricane lashed the Outer Banks in 1846, separating Bodie Island from Pea Island. One ship that rode out that storm in Pamlico Sound was named the Oregon. After the storm the crew of this ship were the first to tell those on the mainland about the inlet's formation. Hence, it has been known as Oregon Inlet ever since.  Akin to many other inlets along the Outer Banks, Oregon Inlet moves southward due to drifting sands during tides and storms. It has moved south over two miles since 1846, averaging around 66 feet per year.  The Coast Guard station at Oregon Inlet is currently located at its fourth site since it began as a lifesaving station in 1883. It was one of 29 lifesaving stations Congress approved and appropriated funds for a decade earlier. By 1888, the Oregon Inlet Station had to be relocated to a new site. It is assumed that this relocation was necessary because of the shifting of the channel to the south and the encroachment of the ocean from the east. The station was decommissioned and moved to a new safer location some 400 feet westward toward the sound.  Less than a decade later a storm totally destroyed the Oregon Inlet Station. In 1897, Jessie B. Etheridge deeded 10 acres of oceanfront property on a remote stretch of Hatteras Island to federal officials so they could build a lifesaving station there. The station was completed in 1898 for less than $7,000. As part of a modernization program in 1933-34, the Oregon Inlet Station was extensively modified to look very much like it does today. In 1979, a new extension was added. By 1988, the station was completely abandoned when the southward migration of the Oregon Inlet threatened to swallow it.  In July 1990, a ceremonial ground breaking was held for a new $3.5 million building, located just behind the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, on the north side of the inlet. The new station was designed with the traditional architectural design of older stations located on the Outer Banks in mind.  [See a photo of the new station here.]

Photos property of Norman & Sandi Roberts; scanned and submitted by Benjamin BatemanNo part of this document may be used for any commercial purposes. However, please feel free to copy any of this material for your own personal use and family research.

 

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2009