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Charleston’s Coastal 1870’s Lighthouse Is Crumbling into the Sea.

Morris Island Lighthouse Can Now Be Seen in Live Video For the 1st Time on the Internet.

Charleston, SC 8/31/2005 -

The steady glow of a lighthouse's protective flame has been symbolically weaved into tales of the sea for generations. These beloved stories have deteriorated into the tide over the years; however, a lucky few of these cherished lighthouses are now historical landmarks that are not entirely forgotten. Most lighthouses existing along the Carolina, Virginia and Maryland coastline have been protected to ensure their presence stands firm for many generations to come. Morris Island Lighthouse, located in coastal Charleston’s Folly Beach, South Carolina, is slowly being consumed by the steady tides and pulverizing waves that have lapped at its base since before the American Civil War.

Morris Island lighthouse began as a small beacon that held a flame to warn sailors of the rocky shores in 1673. In 1767, almost one hundred years later, King George III of England commissioned a 42 foot tall lighthouse to be built to better serve the increasingly busy port of Charles Towne. The light was “extinguished” at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, in order to prevent it from helping guide the British ships. The "Charleston Light", as it was called then, was one of two lighthouses to survive the Revolutionary War. What stands today as the 102 foot tall Morris Island Lighthouse was originally built in 1838. During the American Civil War, this monument was destroyed in 1862 by the Confederacy so as not to aid the Union troops; however, when the Union Army took over Folly Beach, SC they quickly built a makeshift lookout tower on top of the lighthouse ruins to help guide their troops. Shortly after the Civil War ended in 1865 the famed lighthouse was rebuilt on Morris Island.

Due to the ever encroaching sea eating away at the South Carolina Coast, the

Morris Island Lighthouse originally stood 1600 feet inland from the shore. Over the years the coastline has eroded into the ocean and now the lighthouse stands 1600 to 2000 feet offshore depending on the tide. Since the 1870’s the Atlantic Ocean's rhythmic waves have also caused the lighthouse’s antiquated wooden base to succumb to shipworms and sea rot that add to its structural instability. Local government and private contributors are raising money to help preserve this historical landmark with the official preservation of Morris Island Lighthouse due to begin in the spring of 2006. Thanks to these Federal and private funds, this South Carolinian relic is in the process of being preserved for future generations to enjoy.

For the first time, this beautiful lighthouse can be viewed by the public from all over the world. A picturesque live streaming video of the Morris Island Lighthouse can be seen at www.follysurfcam.com by clicking on the 360° interactive web camera. This live web cam offers the public to “click” preset buttons that guide the web camera to various panoramic views of the Folly Beach coastline; including beautiful landscape views of the Morris Island Lighthouse.

Most Folly Beach locals will tell you that the Morris Island Lighthouse holds a special place in their hearts… like a parent that is always there watching over them. Although photographs forever immortalize this beautiful structure, nothing can compare to seeing the Morris Island Lighthouse live under the warm South Carolina sun with the glittering Atlantic Ocean waves shimmering in the foreground. Pictures of Rainbow Row, Palmetto trees and striped lighthouses color the waters of Charleston’s coastline. They have made people smile and think of the stories they have to tell, the histories they share, and the future to come. So, if you can’t be in Charleston’s coastal Folly Beach Island in person to see this beautiful lighthouse, you can now visit the live video broadcasts... and allow this historical landmark’s majestic beauty to leave a lasting impression on your mind, the way Morris Island Lighthouse has since the dawn of this great country.

Submitted by:

Heidi McKenzie

Heidi McKenzie is a native South Carolinian who resides in the Folly Beach SC area and has come to love the Charleston coast for its history and natural beauty. Heidi is a part-time freelance writer and enjoys surfing just minutes away from Morris Island Lighthouse.

This article may be copied and published for use as long as the article is kept in its entirety including the links to www.follysurfcam.com.

heidi@breathepureair.com





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