The Lighthouse Keepers of the Morris Island Lighthouse

Below is the beginning of a list of lighthouse keepers who served at the Morris Island Lighthouse. This list is being reconstructed by Lighthouse Service payroll records, family histories and other historic records. The Lighthouse Service records after 1908 were destroyed by water damage from fighting a fire at the National Archives, thus limiting our resources for 1908 – 1938.

If you have information to add, we’d be happy to speak with you.

Each lightkeeper is listed with his years of service.

St. Lo Mellichamp 1700s
St. Lo Mellichamp II 1830 – 1850
George Wood 1850 – 1857
William A. Mellichamp 1857
William A. Harm 1870
James Skillins 1870 – 1873
Charles Player 1875 – 1876
James Masindun 1873 – 1874
William Player 1874 – 1875
Jimmy Conklin 1875 – 1876
Henry Conklin 1876
Gustavis Thompson 1878 – 1881
John Wieking 1885 – 1908
Martin Leary 1878 – 1881
John Ames 1877 – 1881, 1882 – 1883
John Hagan 1877 – 1880
Peter Collins 1880 – 1881
John Wragg 1881
Phillip Pepper 1881
John Howard 1881 – 1883
James Young 1882 – 1883
Angus Bennett 1883 – 1903
Thomas Jones 1883 – 1884
Thomas O’Hagan 1883 – 1887
Ernest Ferrell 1884
More Wilkinson 1884 – 1886
Richard Stonebridge 1884, 1887 – 1891
Edward Burns 1887 – 1891
Halvor Svendsen 1891 – 1896
Matthew Slavich 1892 – 1894
Carl Svendson 1903 – 1908
Victor Thelning 1901 – 1902
Jessie Swan 1902 – 1904
Martin Rowell 1903 – 1906
Maniard ____t 1906 – 1907
Ludwig Jacobson 1906 – 1908
Carl Sisson 1907 – 1908
Lewis Bringloe 1908
George Jackson 1910s
George Shierlock 1917 – ??
Edward T. Hewitt 1920s
William Hecker 1925 – 1938
W. A. Davis 1920s & 1930s
Edward L. Meyer 1933 – 1935

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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