Scenic USA - South Carolina

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Morris Island Light

Morris Island Light

Photo by Ginny West

     Nature and man have created some dramatic changes in and around Charleston Harbor. Its narrow inlets created a need for a navigational aid before the Revolutionary War. Relying on a large kettle with flaming oakum and pitch, King George ordered a formal lighthouse in 1767.
     The Morris Island Light was destroyed during the Civil War. A new tower was constructed in 1873 on a much larger Morris Island. Ocean and river currents added more sand to the area and joined together adjacent islands. Today, the island is shrinking again and the tower is threatened as redirected currents wash sand away from around the beacon's base. Once set back 2,700 feet from shore, the lighthouse is now 1,600 feet out to sea. Jetties were constructed along the harbor entrance, hoping water currents would dredge the shallow channel. The engineering plan succeeded, but sand was also swept away from the southern harbor island. Dwindling Morris Island, a byproduct of jetty construction, certainly spells disaster for the Morris Island Lighthouse.



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