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Name: Morris Island Light (SC, USA)  

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Also known as: Old Charleston Light

Nearest Town or City:
Folly Beach, South Carolina, United States

Location: Entrance to Charleston Harbor.

Click to enlarge: Photo    Large photo
Photo: John Warnick
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Managing Organization:
Save the Light Inc.

Telephone: 843-633-0099


Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 106
Folly Beach
South Carolina, 29430, United States

There has been a navigational aid in this vicinity since 1673, when pitch fires were lighted at night. The 1767 tower was destroyed by Confederate troops during the Civil War in 1861. The current tower went into operation in 1876. Erosion problems caused the lighthouse to be abandoned and by 1948 it was completely surrounded by water. Save the Light Inc. bought the inactive and deteriorated Morris Island Lighthouse from a private owner for $75,000 in February 1999. In April 2000, the State of South Carolina agreed to buy the lighthouse for the sum of $1.00. In December 2000, the title transfer took place and Save The Light, Inc. signed a 99-year lease for the lighthouse. The agreement made the nonprofit organization responsible for raising the needed funds, working with the Army Corps of Engineers, coordinating the preservation efforts and also establishing a long-term maintenance program for the lighthouse.

Tower Height: 161

Height of Focal Plane: 158

Description of Tower: Conical brick tower with brown and white bands.

Listed on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of endangered lighthouses.

This light is not operational

Earlier Towers?
1767: 102-foot octagonal brick tower.

Date Established: 1767

Date Present Tower Built: 1876

Date Deactivated: 1962

Date Automated: 1938

Optics: 1857: First order Fresnel lens.

Open To Public? No.

Northbound on US Route 17: Turn right onto SC 17 and follow to Folly Beach. At the second traffic signal, one block before a hotel at the end of Center Street, turn left at East Ashley Street. Continue for 3.3 miles to the entrance of an abandoned Coast Guard LORAN station. Pedestrians are allowed to walk 0.25 mile to the beach for a view of the lighthouse.

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