Charleston SC Lighthouses

Dated: February 3 2017

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Morris Island Lighthouse

Lighthouses have been navigational beacons for maritime captains for hundreds of years. South Carolina is home to 11 lighthouses along the Atlantic coast, but only two of them are still functioning today. The US Coast Guard operates The Georgetown Lighthouse, built in 1811 on North Island, and our own Charleston Lighthouse on Sullivan’s Island. Three other lighthouses still shine decoratively. These are the Harbour Island Lighthouse (Hilton Head Island), the Governor’s Lighthouse (Little River), and Haig Point (Daufuskie Island).

The Charleston Lighthouse lights the entrance to the Charleston harbor. It stands 140 feet high with two rotating beacons that can be seen up to 26 miles away. The lighthouse has a triangular shape that allows it withstand hurricane force winds, which is vital on our coast. This lighthouse has been functioning since it was built in 1962, when the Morris Island Lighthouse was decommissioned.

The Morris Island Lighthouse was located off the northern coast of Folly Beach when it was built in 1876, but today, it sits in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and leans slightly. The island that was once home to a few cottages, a school house, and some other small buildings is now underwater and threatened by the ever-changing elements of the ocean. The first lighthouse, built in 1762, was 42-feet tall, but it was replaced in 1838 with a 102-foot tall structure with a revolving light. Although the Confederate army destroyed the structure during the Civil War, the government replaced the lighthouse immediately after the war.

To protect and restore this historical lighthouse, Save the Light, a grassroots, non-profit organization, is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to stabilize the structure. They have built a steel enclosure around the base of the lighthouse, placed boulders surrounding this enclosure, and installed new pilings to stabilize the foundation. Save the Light holds several events each year to raise funds. On February 4th, there will be a half-marathon and 5k run on Folly Beach. On March 30th, the 18th annual Lighthouse Gala and Auction will be held at The TIDES. Check out the Save the Light website to learn more and purchase tickets for any upcoming events.

Information from Photo by Ryan Tamm on Flickr. 

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Dan Lorentz

About Dan Lorentz, ABR, CRS, Founder & Team Leader of Greater Charleston Properties: Founder and Team Leader of the Greater Charleston Properties Team, Dan Lorentz, has lived in the Charleston, SC ....

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