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Morris Island (Old Charleston) Light

Location: Morris Island / Charleston Harbor entrance near Folly Beach, SC

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About Morris Island (Old Charleston) Light


The location of the light is Morris Island / Charleston Harbor entrance. The nearest city is Folly Beach, SC. The station was first established in 1673. The current lighthouse was first lit in 1876.

The lighthouse is a conical tower. The tower height is 161 ft.

Open to the Public?: No    Active?: Occasionally

When first constructed in 1876 the light was approximately 1,200ft from the shoreline. The construction in 1889 of the jetties which protect the shipping lanes leading to Charleston Harbor altered ocean currents, resulting in the rapid erosion of Morris Island. By 1938 the shoreline had reached the lighthouse, forcing its automation as it was no longer safe or practical to keep it manned. The portion of Morris Island where the lighthouse was built is no longer there. The lighthouse is nearly 1/4 mile off shore.

In 1962 the Morris Island Light was decommissioned and replaced by the new Charleston Light, located on Sullivan's Island at the north end of the harbor. The Morris Island Lighthouse now has a concrete barrier (a sand-filled coffer dam) around it built by the Coast Guard to protect it for years to come from further erosion damage. On October 1, 2016 the current lighthouse was re-lit for the first time in over a decade on what was also the 140th anniversary of its first beacon.

Morris Island (Old Charleston) Light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 28, 1982, reference number 82003837.

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