Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Sullivan's Island - Charleston Lighthouse

Sullivan's Island is a barrier island north of Charleston that has retained its historic beach homes, its charm, and its old life-saving station.  The Charleston Lighthouse, the last major lighthouse built in the United States, was added in 1962.

From the beach its light shines 
27 miles out to sea.


The triangular structure is built of steel girders to withstand 125 mph winds and is 162.5 feet tall.
Inside there is an elevator, but the light at the top must be reached by 35 feet of vertical ladder.  

Can you imagine the view from those windows at the top?

Originally the lighthouse was painted in red-orange and white.  
Sullivan Island residents weren't pleased with the colors at all 
and it was repainted black and white.  

The US Life-Saving Service was a government agency that took over from private local efforts to save lives in the storms that battered ships up and down the eastern seaboard.  There are several historic buildings on Sullivan's Island from those times.


The Boathouse, 1895, contained two 20-foot rowboats which a six-man crew would take out into the surf. It was a dangerous job and there were three deaths over the years at the Sullivan's Island Station.


Crew Quarters, 1895
Hurricane shelter for lighthouse keeper and other personnel.

The US Lifesaving Stations became the US Coastguard in 1915.

This photo has nothing to do with lifesaving on the sea.  It is a unique home on the beach on Sullivan's Island.  We thought it look like a spaceship had landed and set up housekeeping!

PS. The Writer found an interesting article on this house.  It's hurrican-proof, able to withstand winds up to 500 mph!
To see the beautiful inside and read the complete story, here is a link:



  1. Aaaaah a little reminiscing for me.
    I was taken by friends when I visited magical Charleston
    to see this lighthouse among the many other historical
    sites of Charleston........ Unfortunately I did NOT get
    out to Fort Sumpter. It was closed for some reason much to my
    bitter disappointment.
    I certainly did not see that "SPACE AGE" home.
    Great post Cynthia.

  2. Love lighthouses, will have to look for this one the next time we go to Charleston, don't like the dome though, bet the neighbors complained about it.

  3. That is a very strange home but I see why they'd want it to be hurricane proof.

  4. Lighthouses are a technology from a different age. The lighthouses themselves are still an interesting buildings.

  5. Gosh! I've never seen triangular lighthouses. This is so interesting.

  6. Great picture of the lighthouse.. my son loves to visit lighthouse.. so once we took him to Point Reyes Lighthouse..


  7. What an interesting lighthouse design. Officer Friendly and I seriously discussed buying a lighthouse early in our marriage. I think the solitude appeaked to both of us. We saw a listing of a number that were for sale inexpensively just so someone would tend them. The huricane-proof house is very interesting, too. thanks to The Writer for the extra link, too. I checked it out. Quite posh inside!

  8. How smart to have a hurricane proof house.
    Never seen a square lighthouse until now - looks good..

  9. Nice story about the lighthouse, they look so different from ours here, but as long as they have a light up there, that doesn't matter. I had to laugh at that spaceship house, but I can imagine it is hurricane proof indeed.

  10. You have found some very interesting architecture for todays posts. I am drawn to interesting buildings!
    Great post :)
    Wren x