The Sullivans Island Lighthouse, also known as Charleston Light, is one of the two most recognizable landmarks, along with Fort Moultrie. The Lighthouse is one of two lighthouses near Charleston, SC, the other being the Morris Island Lighthouse. Sullivans Island Lighthouse is on the north side and Morris Island Lighthouse is on the south side of Charleston Harbor.
Charleston Light features a distinctive triangular shape, setting it apart from the round shape of most lighthouses. The Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse has remained standing despite enduring numerous hurricanes and tropical storms over the last 60 years. Charleston Light once boasted the second-highest candlepower among all lighthouses in the United States. Furthermore, it holds the distinction of being the first lighthouse in the country to have both air conditioning and an elevator installed.
The U.S. Coast Guard, who managed the lighthouse during its operation, initially painted the structure orange and white. However, residents complained, and the Coast Guard changed the color to the recognizable black-and-white pattern that it currently has. You can still see some of the orange paint on the lighthouse.
History of the Lighthouse
The Sullivan’s Island lighthouse was built to replace the Morris Island Lighthouse in 1960. Morris Island, across the harbor from Sullivan’s, was suffering badly from erosion. Naturally, authorities were concerned it would eventually fall into the Atlantic Ocean. However, conservation groups have acted to save it, and the lighthouse on Morris Island still stands today!
Though a relatively new lighthouse, having been built in the 1960s. It is hard to imagine the Island without it. It is as much a part of the fabric of Sullivans Island as the beach it stands watch over and the beautiful beach houses for which the Island is known.
No vacation to Island would be complete without a trip to see the Lighthouse. Though it is no longer open to the public, the grounds surrounding it are accessible. So, the Charleston Light is always ready for photo opportunities. It is easy to check it out from the beach or one of the restaurants on Middle Street. This landmark is a must-see for anyone who enjoys the nostalgia that old lighthouses provide.
Sometimes people ask if there is an Isle of Palms Lighthouse. No, there is not a Lighthouse on the IOP. The Sullivan’s and Morris Island Lighthouses are the only ones in the Charleston area.
More about Fort Moultrie, fishing, Sullivan’s Island beach access, things to do on Sullivan’s Island, and restaurants on Sullivan’s Island. Also, find out more about Isle of Palms. Check out historic Fort Sumter from the beach.