Save the Light


The morris Island lighthouse
folly beach, south carolina

We are glad you found this site and hope you will look around it while you are on line and appreciate the historical significance of saving a lighthouse. That is exactly what we are doing right in front of your eyes. This is the third lighthouse to occupy this site, off the coast of Charleston, and this one was built just after the War Between the States. Construction started in 1872 and it took four years to build, operating the light for the first time on October 1, 1876. The tower leans slightly toward the NE and we believe it has slowly done so since the earthquake of 1886, along with the slow erosion of the very sand it sits on out in the ocean.

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Upcoming Events

5K Run and Half Marathon

Saturday, February 3, 2024
Folly Beach, SC

5K: $45 per person, ages 8 & up
Half Marathon: $65 per person, ages 10 & up
Registration ends Wednesday, January 31. On-site registration will not be available.

About Save the Light

News & Events

Stay up to date with Save the Light’s latest news and updates, and make sure to check the next event you can join.


Watch some of the magnificent videos of the Morris Island Lighthouse, as well as informative videos of our organization.


Get more information about Save the Light, our history and activities, and learn how you can contribute to our mission.

A word from our chairman

Read our Chairman, Bright Ariail’s letter to get a better idea about the idea behind our organization.

Save the Light meets virtually the first Monday of each month at 6:00 pm

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Here you can find some conceptualizations for Phase I of the preservation of the Morris Island Lighthouse. Plans were provided by the Hayward-Baker Company.

Changes to the original Phase I plans needed to be made before the actual construction. For photos of the Phase I preservation construction, see the photo gallery below.

The base of the lighthouse will be surrounded by a cofferdam composed of circular sheet piles. This drawing is view looking down from above the lighthouse.

The base of the lighthouse will be surrounded by a cofferdam composed of circular sheet piles. This drawing is view looking down from above the lighthouse.

Grout will be injected beneath the lighthouse to stabilize the foundation. The view is looking down from above into the lighthouse's foundation.
This drawing shows section B-B through the drawing above. The view is looking across the base of the lighthouse.
Phase I - In May 2007, work began on the first phase of the lighthouse stabilization. The contractor, Taylor Brothers Marine Construction, from Beaufort, NC, drove the sheet piles that formed a cofferdam around the base of the lighthouse. The contractor worked all through the fall and winter to complete the work. His jack-up-barge can be seen from a great distance while it sits next to the lighthouse to drive the piles. All types of monitoring devices were installed inside and outside the lighthouse to help monitor the conditions as the piles were vibrated down into the sand. A local company, WPC, provided this part of the monitoring for the contractor. The devices monitored cracks for potential growth, possible lean, and general vibration during daily work. All of the windows in the lighthouse have no glass and the birds love to stay inside and even raise their young if not disturbed. The Phase I effort was completed in March of 2008, with a cost of just over $3 million.

Aerial photos were taken by Mr. Larry Workman.

You can view some conceptualizations for Phase II of the preservation of the Morris Island Lighthouse. Plans were provided by the contractor, Palmetto Gunite.

Page 1 shows the layout for the new micro-piles that were installed around the perimeter of the lighthouse foundation. There were a total of 68 micro-piles installed at 75 tons each capacity.

Page 2 shows the actual location of the micro-piles and how they were spaced around the foundation. All of the work was inside of the cofferdam installed in 2008.

Page 3 shows an elevation view of the new piles in relation to the original piles. The new piles were installed into the marl layer under the lighthouse. The area between the cofferdam and the foundation was filled with sand and capped with stone.

For photos of the preservation construction, see the photo gallery below.

March 1, 2010, we awarded our Phase II contract to Palmetto Gunite Construction Company, Ravenel, SC, for just under $2 million. This was a design/build contract to install new concrete piles under the foundation. This contract also filled the inside of the Phase I cofferdam with sand to help stabilize the foundation. The installation of 68 new micro-piles rated at 75 tons each was completed a month ahead of schedule. The jack-up barge pulled away on July 31, 2010.

This work will surely stabilize the tower so that we can continue to restore and preserve it in subsequent phases.

We survived Hurricane Irene. The Army Corps of Engineers requires periodic inspections.

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