U.S. Weather Bureau Station

Then - 1930's

The first US Weather Bureau Station on Hatteras Island was established at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Keeper's Quarter in 1874; was moved to the Hatteras Life Saving Station in 1880 and later transferred to a Hatteras Village private residence in 1883 before finding its permanent home in 1901. The original building was a wood frame structure on masonry piling. The first floor had seven rooms including a kitchen, office, living room and bedrooms for the weather observer. The second floor had a large observation room/office with a ship's ladder leading to a walk on the roof. Porches extended across the front and west side.

Photo courtesy of Josephine Oden

The station, manned by an observer and a maintenance man, was equipped with telegraph communication to the District Forecast Center in Washington, D.C. Hourly checks were made of the temperature, humidity, wind velocity, solar radiation, precipitation and pressure. An important part of the national weather network, the station issued coastal forecasts and warnings for the area as storm warnings. The tower to the right in the photo was used to hoist storm warning pennants and flags.

Panorama From Top of Weather Bureau Station

Click on the image above to view a 360 view of Hatteras Village from the top of the Weather Bureau Station.

Now - June, 2003

Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the station with its residence and observation building, two storage shed buildings, cistern and steel-framed weather signal tower is receiving plenty of attention from National Park Service preservation crews located at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore Preservation Crew, headed by Preservation Specialist George Perrot, has developed a sequenced, 3-phased work plan, beginning with foundation stabilization, moving to exterior restoration and finishing with interior rehabilitation. The work on the station, having suffered heavy structural damage from termites and wood-boring insects, will bring new life to the main building and the surrounding grounds. Funding has been approved for the first two phases of work which are expected to be completed by 2002, returning the building to its 1901 exterior appearance, including its original colors of yellow, green and brown. The initial work includes the abatement of asbestos shingles and lead base paint. Major structural repair will be needed throughout the structure. Interior spaces will be rehabilitated at a later date for adaptive use purposes compete with modernized mechanical systems.

U.S. National Park Service Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Hidden Treasure in Hatteras Village Undergoing Restoration Work. 23 Feb. 2001. U.S. National Park Service. 25 May 2003. <http://www.nps.gov/caha/hattweather.html>.

Ray Midgett