From Friends of Price's Creek Lighthouse site.
There were two lights arranged in range form. The front one today, the only one remaining, is described as a "rather decrepit and inaccessible structure." It is the largest remaining piece of a light system designed to get ships up and down the Cape Fear River from its mouth to the port of Wilmington, 25 miles upstream.
Merchants had long lobbied and pushed for it.
Finally, on August 14, 1848, $35,000 was appropriated for seven beacons to be placed along the river and a lightship. From south to north, they were: the range light on Oak Island, range light at Price's Creek, lightship at Horseshoe Shoal, beacon on Orton's Point, beacon on Campbell's island and beacon at Upper Jeffie.
Price's Creek and the lightship were across from each other.