Morris Island Lighthouse, Charleston

#15 of 38 in Historic Sites in Charleston
Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Morris Island Light is a lighthouse on Morris Island in South Carolina. The light stands on the southern side of the entrance to Charleston Harbor, north of the City of Folly Beach. The lighthouse was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The lighthouse is unusual in that it now stands several hundred feet offshore. When constructed in 1876 the light was approximately 1200ft from the water's edge. However, the construction in 1889 of the jetties which protect the shipping lanes leading to Charleston Harbor altered ocean currents, resulting in the rapid erosion of Morris Island and the destruction of many structures and historical sites (such as Fort Wagner). By 1938 the shoreline had reached the lighthouse, forcing its automation as it was no longer safe or practical to keep it manned. In 1962 the Morris Island Light was decommissioned and replaced by the new Charleston Light, located on Sullivan's Island at the north end of the harbor.
The Morris Island Light, located on Morris Island, at the entrance to the harbor of Charleston, SC, was one of the colonial lights turned over to the Federal Government under the terms of the act of August 7, 1789. The light was in a brick tower, built by the Colony of South Carolina in 1767. On May 7, 1800, Congress appropriated $5,000 for repairing the lighthouse. In 1838 the light was described as a revolving light, the tower being 102ft from the base to the lantern. A new first-order lens was installed in the tower on January 1, 1858.
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Morris Island Lighthouse reviews

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400 reviews
  • We take a morning beach walk at Morris Lighthouse whenever we are in Charleston. It is beautiful, peaceful and uncrowded. There is no development on this beach and nothing to buy . There is a short....  more »
  • We so enjoyed our recent visit to Folly Beach, South Carolina. What a beautiful area, and the Morris Island Lighthouse was a highlight of our holiday! There is no parking area, but abundant parking...  more »
  • Great spot! Quite and very preserved. Love this nice nature expedition! Great place for peace and quiet and taking pictures. The lighthouse is far but neat to see! Would be fun to take the kayak out!
  • It is so pretty. I love the look of it. There was no sand bar around it. We got so close to it. Could even read the sign on building.

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