Manteo Weather Tower

Manteo Weather Tower (HM1IFS)

Location: Manteo, NC 27954 Dare County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 54.522', W 75° 40.136'

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The US Weather Bureau once used Coastal Warning Display towers such as this one to fly signal flags to warn mariners of wind shifts or approaching storms.

On November 10, 1904, the Weather Bureau established the Manteo Weather Station with Alpheus W. Drinkwater in charge. The Manteo Chamber of Commerce requested that the bureau be given permission to place a tower on the grounds of the Dare County Courthouse.

Since weather news was transmitted by telegraph, Drinkwater, in his role as telegraph operator, was a logical choice for the weatherman. He also is noted for sending news of the Wright Brothers' flight tests to news agencies across the country.

Beyond the symbolic colors and shapes that foretold a rainy day or a flood tide on a northwesterly wind, weather flags, when flown in various combinations of shapes and colors, signaled that it was time to take in the laundry or to set the fishing nets, part of everyday life in Manteo. At night, two red and one white signal lights signaled storm warnings.

The tower was later moved near its present location on the waterfront and then to Drinkwater's home on Ananias Dare (old Main) street. Upon inquiry by the Manteo Board of Commissioners, the John Booth family gave permission for the tower to be moved to town property, and provided the original signal lights.

In 2005, the Town of Manteo had the tower refurbished and moved to this site so that the weather signal flags could once again fly on the Manteo waterfront. The Manteo Weather Tower is believed to be one of only five towers still in use, and may be the only one with all of its original signal lights affixed.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, December 20th, 2014 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 439640 N 3974028
Decimal Degrees35.90870000, -75.66893333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 54.522', W 75° 40.136'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 54' 31.32" N, 75° 40' 8.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)252
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101 State Rd 1191, Manteo NC 27954, US
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