The Roanoke River Lighthouse was built to replace the light ship that wasn't able to handle the traffic on the river. Later, as traffic decreased, the lighthouse was decommissioned. It was purchased from the Coast Guard and moved to a land based site. The owners refused to sell the lighthouse to the Maritime Museum so a replica was built and placed in the original location. The original lighthouse was finally purchased by the Historical Society of Edenton and was placed at the shoreline.