Who We Are

Board of Directors

Anne Peterson, Chairman

Richard Beck

Dr. Beck is one of the charter members of Save the Light and has served as either chairman or co-chairman for seven of its nine years. Before coming to Save the Light he had a long and distinguished period of public service with one term as city council member and then two terms as mayor of the City of Folly Beach. In the late seventies and early eighties, Dr Beck spearheaded a seven year effort that successfully placed the blame for the erosion of Morris and Folly Islands on the construction of the Charleston harbor jetties in the late 1890’s. That effort paid dividends in the recent construction of Phase I by lowering the local match and freeing up funds that can be used for Phase II. In addition Dr. Beck is practically our staff photographer. Some of his photos are available on our website and he recently had one of his photos of the lighthouse adorn the cover of Charleston magazine. Tirelessly energetic about the preservation of our treasured lighthouse, he never fails to make time to promote our efforts.

Denis Blyth

Denis is a native Charlestonian. He and his wife Marsha Westphal have 3 children and live in Mt. Pleasant. The family shares a love of history, boating, camping, fishing, and Tae Kwon Do. Denis is an Assistant Scoutmaster of BSA Troop 20 and a member of Christ Our King Catholic Church. He is also Vice President of B&C Management Systems and a member of the Rotary Club of North Charleston. Denis believes we should protect our maritime heritage and teach our children about saving things that depict our history. He is Secretary of the board and Chair of the Publicity/Newsletter Committee and also Chair of the Lighthouse Liasion Committee.

Jerry Smeltzer

He was born a child.
Grew up in the North. Pennsylvania area.
Was a Marine. Always a Marine. Oorah!
He was married. Not now.
Lives on the creek. Likes beer.
Smiles a lot, makes you wonder what he’s up to.
Loves the Lighthouse.
Glad to be a part of saving it.

Joyce Wichmann

From a small farm near Rock Hill to San Diego to Japan to Europe and finally, to the Lowcountry, Joyce has lived in Charleston longer than anywhere in her life. She came to the area to teach French at James Island High and Haut Gap Middle School. She became hooked on lighthouses after meeting and marrying Fred Wichmann, who was born the son of the keeper at Cape Romain Lighthouse. Joyce attended Save the Light Board meetings with Fred for 18 years and has now served on the Board of Directors herself since 2018. Her passions include her church, gardening, sailing, and of course lighthouses.

Joe Schady

John Nance

Barry McLaurin

Mac McGuire

Carmen Campbell

Bill Crymes

Advisory Board

Rob Turkewitz, Chairman

Colby Broadwater, III

Tim Goodwin

Jimmy Hadden

Chris Noland

Rick Stringer

Bill Woolsey

Robert New

Hope McKiernan

Anna Blyth

Al Hitchcock

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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