This past weekend was one for the books. A few months ago my friend Cyndee called from Texas. She was heading east for a Rangers Hockey game in Raleigh NC and then wanted to hit Charleston for the weekend. Cyndee is in love with the Morris Island Lighthouse and calls it her most favorite place on earth. We lucked out and was able to get a private charter out to the sand bar by Absolute Reel Screamers Charters with Captain Gresh. He had called us the morning of and warned that the wind was strong and that it was cold out on the water, but Cyndee was determined to get up close with HER lighthouse.
We arrived at the landing to meet Capt. Gresh and bundled up for the 20 minute ride out to the light. Along the way we saw plenty of oysters beds on the river banks, birds diving for fish and even a few dolphins. Gresh was full of plenty of knowledge and history of the area, Cyndee even learned a few things that she didn't know about the lighthouse.
In 1673 the King of England had a navigation aid placed in this area to guide ships into then Charles Towne. The first lighthouse was constructed in 1767 and was 42 feet tall, a second structure replaced it in 1838 and was 102 feet tall.
The 102 foot structure was destroyed in 1862 by Confederate troops. They were worried that Union soldiers would take over the tower and use is as a look out point during the height of the civil war. In October of 1876 the current tower is illuminated for the first time and stood watch over Charleston harbor until is decommission in 1962.
We walked out and around the sandbar after beaching the boat. The area was covered in sand dollars as we made our way to the light. We were able to get about 50 yards away from the lighthouse before the water cut us off. But standing and looking up at it was an amazing and awe inspiring moment. The lighthouse does have a lean to it from the Great Charleston Earthquake of 1866 that rocked the area between a 6.9-7.3 magnitude and claimed 60 lives. Over time the ocean has washed away the island and has surrounded the lighthouse. . Savethelight.org was created in in 1999 and bought the lighthouse for $75,000. The pier like structure was added by the Army Corp of Engineers to stabilize the light as preservation efforts continue to keep the light standing. Save The Light continues to this day to protect and preserve this historic South Carolina treasure. Captain Gresh even mentioned that there are plans to hopefully return the light to its black and white paint scheme.
The day actually ended up warming up to the mid 50's and the wind died down. The trip was well worth it and a great experience.