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

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sullivan's Island Lighthouse

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

My husband had to drive me down a dead end street to get this shot of Sullivan's Lighthouse. As he circled around, I hung out the window to capture it. The second photo below was taken from the air when we took a plane ride over Charleston. Click on it for a closer view and see if you can find Sullivan's Lighthouse.

This was the last lighthouse built in South Carolina in 1962. It was meant to replace Morris Island Lighthouse, which they are in the process of trying to save. Instead of black and white, it was originally painted orange and white.

Sullivan's Lighthouse is anchored by steel girders and a concrete foundation. It stands 163 feet tall and built to weather hurricanes. It is the only lighthouse in America that contains an elevator. It contains offices and is air conditioned. A back-up generator is located at the base.

To my disappointment, the lighthouse isn't open to the public. Coast Guard personnel use the former keeper's house as office space. This house itself has been restored. Three low-intensity lamps are used in the lighthouse, which have a range of 26 miles and are on an automatic rotation system. On bulb blinks every 5 seconds, a second bulb every 20 seconds, and the last one every 30 seconds.

Before Sullivan's Lighthouse, the office records of the US Coast Guard Historian show that a small red square structure was built in 1848. It stood on four brick piers 300 yards southwest of Fort Moultrie. It was rebuilt in 1872. Another beacon was added in 1888 and served as a red reflector rear light. On May 20, 1899 the lights were renamed as the South Channel Range Lights. If you're interested in what these earlier structures looked like, there are some black and white photos in the resource I used to obtain this information from the book, Lighthouses of the Carolinas: A Short History and Guide by Terrance Zepke.


Thanks for taking me to the beach this morning! I could feel the salt breeze blowing through my unruly locks :) Have a wonderful fourth!

~Jennifer C.

All right, I'm able to comment on others' sites, but have not figured out how to do so on my own. So thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting; it's brand new, and I'm always excited to see somebody new--especially somebody who seems to share similar interests with me.
I am very curious about your book--I'll have to check it out once it comes out. Jill

I'm so glad to know there is someone else willing to hang out of a car window to get a good photograph! My teenage daughter is mortified whenever I do that, but you have to do whatever it takes to capture the picture.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Thanks so much for stopping by my fun little RV travel blog at classicRVadventures.blogspot It was so exciting to see your name there! :D I hadn't realized MapQuest offered gas maps until recently either!

Don't know if you had a chance to read the first entry on the blog, but I'm actually trying to win a week's free RV rental and that's why I started the blog. Don't know what will come of it, but it's been a fun project and I've learned a lot about travel. Tonight's post is about taking great vacation photos so your post is timely. :)