Morris Island Lighthouse

Also known as: Charleston Main Light
6 mi. SE of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina

Photos 

Morris Island Lighthouse

Photo taken by Michael Miller

Map 

Street View 

Description 

The Morris Island Lighthouse is significant for its role in marking Charleston’s channel, as a good example of later nineteenth century lighthouse design, and as a local landmark. The Morris Island Lighthouse is a tall, conical, brick tower erected ca. 1876 on Morris Island in Charleston Harbor. The lighthouse, last used in 1962, is the third tower at this site, a strategic point in guiding shipping for over two hundred years. The lighthouse is a 150 foot conical, brick tower with a base diameter of sixteen feet, eight inches. The focal plane was 158 feet above sea level with a visibility of eighteen and three-quarter miles. At present the tower is painted in alternating black and white horizontal stripes for use as a daymark, and photographs from ca. 1900 indicate that it was historically marked in this manner. Single light windows with segmental arched heads are located at alternate levels on the east and west faces of the lighthouse. Inside the tower, an iron spiral stair with nine flights leads to the light room, which has an external gallery with an iron parapet. All of the outbuildings and associated structures have been destroyed; the tower is the only surviving structure. The erosion of Morris Island beach has eliminated all traces of the destroyed buildings. The lighthouse itself is now completely surrounded by waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Listed in the National Register June 18, 1982. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 28, 1982
Reference number
82003837
Areas of significance
Engineering; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Structure
Historic function
Water-related
Period of significance
1875-1899
Significant year
ca. 1876

Update Log 

  • August 7, 2014: New photo from Michael Miller
  • July 23, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"
  • July 23, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • October 28, 2013: New photos from Michael Miller

Sources