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South Carolina’s historic Hunting Island lighthouse located near Beaufort, was originally constructed in 1859 and rebuilt in 1875 after it was destroyed during the Civil War. A unique feature of this lighthouse is that it was constructed of interchangeable cast-iron sections so that it can be dismantled and moved. Of course as fate would have it, severe beach erosion made it necessary to move the lighthouse inland to keep the Atlantic Ocean from dragging her into the sea. So in 1889 it was move 1.3 miles from the old site located on the north end of the island. After the move, the lighthouse continued to provide safe passage for mariners until it was deactivated in June of 1933.

The only lighthouse in the state that’s open to the public, you can visit the Hunting Island Lighthouse seven days a week until 5pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day and other times by appointment. To get there, take US-21 east of Beaufort to Hunting Island State Park. Visitors may climb to the top of the lighthouse and from the top platform, for those who are adventurous enough to climb the spiral staircase, you can get a bird’s eye view of the Atlantic Ocean, the park and surrounding the marshes from about 132 feet above the ground. The light is no longer in service but had a second-order Fresnel lens. The tower is 132.5 feet and there are 167 steps to the observation deck. The park collects a 50¢ fee to climb the steps, but that’s a small price to pay for such a beautiful, panoramic view.