~ brief history ~

Click the dates to learn more...

1673  Three years after Charles Towne was founded, records show a navigation aid on Morris Island consisting of a raised metal pan filled with pitch and set afire at night.
1767  The first lighthouse, 42 feet tall, is built on Morris Island to guide ships approaching Charleston Harbor.
1838  A second, taller tower replaces the first lighthouse. This new lighthouse is 102 feet tall with a revolving light.
1862  The Civil War begins in 1861 and the lighthouse is destroyed in 1862 to prevent its use by Union troops as a lookout tower.
1876  The new Morris Island Lighthouse is illuminated on October 1, 1876.
1938  The Morris Island Lighthouse, originally constructed 1200 feet onshore, is now at the water's edge. The housing complex is dismantled and the lighthouse is automated on June 22.
1962  The Morris Island Lighthouse is decommissioned and replaced by the new Sullivan's Island Lighthouse. In 1965, the lighthouse is sold to a private citizen by the Federal Government as surplus property.
1999  Save The Light, Inc. buys the historic lighthouse for $75,000 to preserve it for the people of South Carolina. In 2000, the lighthouse is transferred to the State of South Carolina through the Department of Natural Resources. The lighthouse is leased to Save The Light, Inc. for 99 years to coordinate the stabilization, erosion control and restoration of the lighthouse and to raise the necessary funds for that work.
2007 - 2008  Save The Light, Inc. completes Phase I of the Morris Island Lighthouse preservation with the help of the Army Corps of Enginners.
2010  Save The Light, Inc. begins Phase II of the Morris Island Lighthouse preservation
2011  The Morris Island Lighthouse preservation plan requires periodic inspections.