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On the night of 30 December 1985, the moon was three days past its full stage. It had risen the evening before.
Before it crossed the meridian at 2:40 that morning...passing over the Lighthouse...fire and smoke would light up the sky over Charles and Earl Streets.
The temporary Park Headquarters was burning to the ground.

The burning of the Park facility was accompanied by deliberate burning of an estimated sixty camps over on Shackleford Bank during the days leading up to the December 31st deadline...the deadline date Federal authorities had declared for removal of all unauthorized
properties. Two additional camps that had received twenty five year leases from the Park Service were illegally burned as well.
Subsequent FBI investigation proved the fire was an illegal act of arson.
To no one’s surprise, no arrests have been made.
• The PROSPECTUS stated 150K visitors
would be needed to support the Museum’s activities. That expectation was quite unrealistic; the Seashore’s Visitor Center was averaging merely 10K annually; the Beaufort Maritime was recording 200K visitors after two decades; of the 80K
vehicles traveling to the Cedar sland / Ocracoke ferry annually, 50K of those would have to turn off U.S. 70 and go an additional eighteen miles to the new Museum to fulfill their projected number
of visitors; Harris also noted that of the millions who travel the Blue Ridge Parkway annually and pass within eye-sight of the Folk Art Center, a small percentage actually stop and visit that free
museum;
• Harris concluded that the colorful PROSPECTUS “...has not presented a convincing case (and) that you would be lucky to attract 20K...” annually;
“We regret very much that we can not respond more favorably to the Waterfowl Museum project."
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CRANEY
Impressions