Hunting Island Lighthouse
Hunting Island, South Carolina
The original Hunting Island Lighthouse stood on the North Point of Hunting Island, and was built of reddish gray brick, the upper 25 feet painted white. It was 95 feet high, with the focal plane 108 feet above the water. It was supposed to be visible for 17 miles. It was activated on March 8, 1859. As of the year 2000, it would be situated more than two miles off the northern point of the island.
Confederate forces blew up the light in 1861, and the new one was completed in 1875. The tower is constructed of cast iron sheets, bolted together and lined with bricks. By 1887, the sea was within 150 feet of the structure, and despite efforts to shore up the island with jetties, by 1889 it was decided that the lighthouse be moved. It took four months to dismantle and reassemble it 1-1/4 miles further inland. It was relit on October 1, 1889.
The light was deactivated in 1933, after a lighted whistle buoy was constructed offshore. The state acquired the light in 1938 and converted the area into a state park.
This is the only historic lighthouse in South Carolina that is officially opened to the public for climbing. For about two years, it was closed while some cracks in some steps were repaired by adding metal braces. These were left unpainted, to distinguish them from the original cast iron stairs.
At high tide, the ocean is about 400 feet from the tower, and if erosion continues, the lighthouse may well need to be moved again.
Directions: From Beaufort, SC, take Highway 21 east about 16 miles to Hunting Island State Park. The entrance is on the left, and requires a fee for admission to the park.
Learn more about Hunting Island Lighthouse by clicking on the link below.
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Music is "Driblets of Light," Original by Jalal Ali, used with permission. Visit his site by clicking on the link below.