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"Lighthouse buff" urges support
Thursday, October 31, 1996  —  Charleston Post and Courier

Having recently done extensive research on S.C. lighthouses for a new book, I appreciated Arlie Porter's article on the current status of the Morris Island Lighthouse and am happy to see that now after 20 years there may be hope for the preservation of the wonderful old lighthouse.

This mystic tower from the past must be protected for no other reason than for history itself. The original lighthouse was the first one erected in the Southern states of our country. In 1767, acting on a decree of King George III, the first tower was built at the Southern entrance of the Charleston Harbor. The light played a great part in marine history of the Charleston Harbor.

The present tower, built in 1876, survived the Charleston earthquake of 1886 and the numerous hurricanes that have hit Charleston's shores in the past 100 years. It served as the Charleston light until 1962, when it was replaced by the Sullivan's Island light.

I hope that the article has made the public aware of the options available for the Morris Island Lighthouse. Since it has been so grossly neglected for the past 20 years, now hopefully someone will purchase the property and make the next 20 years different.

I would hope that the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission would purchase the lighthouse and would protect it for centuries to come. I would like to see it restored to the point that my grandchildren may someday have the opportunity to climb the 200 steps that lead to the top of the tower. What an adventure for future generations!

I applaud the residents of James Island and Folly Beach who are taking the lead to raise as much as $500,000 needed to stabilize the lighthouse. I, too, want to be added to the list of supporters to save the Morris Island Lighthouse. How about all you other "lighthouse buffs" out there? Will you stand and be counted?

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