Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse

Charleston Light

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 of Charleston Harbor. Morris Island Lighthouse is on the south side of the entrance to the harbor.

Charleston Light - Sullivan's Island Lighthouse

Charleston Light is unique because it was built in a triangular fashion instead of the more common round style typical of most lighthouses. This triangle lighthouse has withstood several hurricanes and tropical storms over the past six decades. At the time of its construction, the candlepower of Charleston Light was the second most powerful of all lighthouses in the U.S. Charleston Light was also the first U.S. Lighthouse to feature air conditioning and an elevator.

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Though the structure is now well known for its black and white color, it was initially painted orange and white, which are colors associated with the U.S. Coast Guard, which ran the lighthouse when it was in operation. Residents complained about the orange color, and the Coast Guard changed the color to the black-and-white pattern you see now.

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!

Sullivans Island Lighthouse Video

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 one on the IOP. The Sullivan’s and Morris Island Lighthouses are the only ones in the Charleston area.

More about Fort Moultrie, fishing, the beach, and restaurants on the Island. Also, Click here to find out more about Isle of Palms.