The romance, beauty, history and tales of the famous Cape Fear Lighthouses is brought to life by noted historian, author and film maker, Kevin Duffus in the second of the three-part Weymouth Center Arts and Humanities Lecture series. On Sunday, February 15, Duffus will share how “Cape Fear has been home to three lighthouses since 1795, including the state’s first. The story of their unique architecture, their builders, their lights, and their keepers is unparalleled. I will reveal what sets the 1795 Cape Fear Lighthouse apart from all others in America (except for one), how President Jefferson reacted when a woman at Cape Fear was nominated to be the lighthouse keeper after her husband was killed in a hunting accident, why the top of “Old Baldy” is off-center, and why the Fresnel lens at the top of the 1903 Cape Fear Lighthouse had been seen by millions of Americans across the nation before it was eventually senselessly destroyed.”
Duffus has a deep-seeded love for his subject and is the recipient of the North Carolina Historian of the year award and the Harlan Joel Gradin Award for Excellence in the Public Humanities. He has been featured on the Travel Channel and C-SPAN and authored six non-fiction books, two of which War Zone—WWII off the North Carolina Coast and The Lost Light—A Civil War Mystery were awarded the NC Soc. of Historians History Book Award. He has created numerous documentaries and his work spans 500 years of NC maritime history.
Duffus wants you to be excited and become part of the action, not just be a passive bystander to history. He explains that even in his writing “I strive to put the reader into the middle of the action that I describe. In my book on the history of Cape Fear, the reader stands alongside the early explorers as they view the unspoiled shores of the river for the first time. The reader rides along aboard a surfboat on a harrowing rescue of shipwrecked mariners out on Frying Pan Shoals in the chaos of a hurricane. They climb the rickety wooden stairway of the lighthouse with the 80-year-old keeper for his nightly watch. These literary non-fiction narratives can only be made authentic after considerable research and thought. The passages are supremely satisfying to create, especially when they lead to a greater appreciation of our past.”
The 2 pm lecture takes place in the Great Room on February 15. Tickets are
$15 for members and $20 for nonmembers and are available at www.weymouthcenter.org (event tickets) or TicketMeSandhills.com. Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located at 555 East Connecticut Ave. and is home to the N.C. Literary Hall of Fame. For more information, call (910) 692-6261 or visit www.weymouthcenter.org