This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Friday, March 27, 2009

Save Morris Island Lighthouse

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Recently, I had the privilege of visiting Morris Island Lighthouse in South Carolina, or getting as close to it as I could. Water and erosion are taking over this historic relic and there is a huge effort underway to try and save it, much like the effort that occurred in my own state of North Carolina to save the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse a few years ago. For more information on the effort to save Morris Island Lighthouse, go here.

The current structure was built in 1876, just after the Civil War. The brick tower stands 161 feet tall. The original Charleston Lighthouse was built by order of King George III of England in 1767 on Middle Bay, which is now Morris Island. It stood 102 feet, was also made of brick, and the light was fueled by lard oil. In 1858 a Fresnal lens was installed. During the Civil War Confederate soldiers blew up the lighthouse to keep the Union from using it.

In 1873 Charleston Main Light was erected at a cost of $150,000. It was located 400 yards from the original structure due to the shift in the channel. The light could be seen 19 miles away. The keeper and his two assistants lived in the three-story home with their families nearby. There was a small community and even a school house. A damaging hurricane in 1885 and an earthquake in 1886, destroyed the community and left lasting damage to the lighthouse with cracks in the structure. Since then over 1600 feet of land has been lost around the lighthouse due to erosion.

In front of where my daughter is sitting on some boulders with the Morris Island Lighthouse in the distance, are some square stone foundations that remain of a few building structures. The buildings no longer exist, the foundations still lay there as a reminder of things now gone.


Check out for some close up shots of the work done in Phase I.

Great article here! Thank you.

I love light houses. Something magical about them.

I love lighthouses...those lovely icons!