The South Caroline Morrison Island Lighthouse started out as the Charleston Main Lighthouse. The Charleston Main Lighthouse operated from the late eighteenth century. The building remained there until 1861. The original lighthouse was one of the first casualties of the Civil War. Congress set aside funds for the Morris Island Lighthouse in 1873. Today, the lighthouse looks like a tower sticking up from the ocean. It rests 300 yards away from a place called Folly Beach.
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A visitor who does not know the history of the South Carolina Morris Island Lighthouse may find the name misleading. The tower is completely surrounded by water. There does not seem to be any island there. While this is true in the modern era, it did, in fact originally reside on an island. Rising water levels have buried the island. The buildings that once provided the support structures for the lighthouse are now underwater. Someone from elsewhere in the country may think that the name of the beach has something to do with the sinking lighthouse, but it is simply not the case. The rising ocean levels may be attributed to climate change, but it may just be the result of natural forces.
The lighthouse is still in operation, although it is not a building an outsider may want to tour. The Coast Guard maintains the facility. This is not a surprise. The Coast Guard maintains all of the working lighthouse stations in the country. This lighthouse looks out on the Atlantic. It has been there for over a hundred years. The buildings may become visible again, but it is more likely that the lighthouse will continue to sink beneath the water.
There are plenty of people who want to protect the monuments for future generations. Further shifts of the channel may cause it to sink permanently beneath the waves. It may even threaten the nearby Charleston harbor. The Save the Lighthouse Foundation is working to keep the lighthouse from sinking beneath the waves forever. A person who has experienced the lighthouse and its charm may not be able to get involved directly, but they can support the efforts monetarily.