Pea Island Life Saving Station in Dare Co., NC was the first life-saving station in the United States to have an all African-American crew. In 1880, Capt. Richard Etheridge, an African-American, was appointed the second keeper of the Pea Island Life Saving Station and he successfully ran it with military precision. The original site was purchased in 1878 and the new station was destroyed by a mysterious fire in 1880. A new station was built and used until a new site was acquired in 1908 and the old station abandoned. In 1930, a new ten acre site was acquired from the Pea Island Club and the old station abandoned. In 1947, Pea Island Life Saving Station was disestablished and in 1949 the station was turned over to the Fish and Wildlife Service, for use in connection with the Pea Island Migratory Waterfowl Refuge.