Come see the fascinating Sea Islands lighthouses: Hilton Head’s Harbour Town and Skeleton Tower, Hunting Island, Tybee and CockspurPosted By ShoutCarolina,Date: 08.12.2008
Lighthouses are the most romantic ocean harboring constructions ever built my men. They symbolize safety and comfort. Many inspired legends, love songs and even myths. Some of them are still haunted by desperate souls. So on your vacation to Hilton Head, Beaufort or Savannah go visit the Lowcountry Lighthouses for an unforgettable and very affordable experience.
Built in 1970, towering at 90 feet tall over the Calibogue Sound with its candy striped octagon, it became famous after TV broadcasts of The Heritage Classic.
Did you know? Arnold Palmer was the golf tournament’s first winner!
The lighthouse is open daily 10 AM to sundown.
Admission is $3 (kids under 5 get in for FREE).
TIP! Get free passes from the Harbour Town concierge desk located across Harbourside Café.
Ghost sightings, interesting facts and trivia
• On rainy days and full moon nights William Baynard’s ghost is believed to appear. Legend has it he won what’s now called the Baynard Ruins (located inside the Sea Pines plantation) at a poker game! Soon thereafter he succumbed to a horrible yellow fever attack. During the Civil War Union soldiers robbed the mausoleum where Baynard was buried in search for rumored jewelry and gold. Ever since his pale grieving image has been spotted around the ruins and the island.
• Skeleton Tower, located inside the Palmetto Dunes resort, is Hilton Head’s first lighthouse. It consisted of 2 lights, the 95 foot tower and one on top a movable house located a mile away. The light-keeper had to manually align the two lights to safely guide the ships through the island channel. People say that occasionally sobbing can be heard near the old skeleton tower and a lady ghost can be spotted in the area. Tragedy struck the light-keeper’s family in the late 1890s hurricane. The father died from heart attack as the light was cut off by the powerful storm. His daughter managed to re-lit the tower but died few weeks later due to grief.
• Learn about Charles Fraser’s visionary quest establishing the Sea Pines Plantation, and its jewel, the Forest Preserve.
A fervent environmentalist he was very original getting his conservation points across…
• The Hilton Head shores are one of the few places in the world where you can observe the dolphin strand feeding phenomenon.
Dolphins work together and herd schools of fish onto the soft muddy tidal creek banks then beach themselves to feed on the feast.
• The Sea Islands area is defined by the rich Gullah culture. In fact many of the remarkable “Uncle Remus – his Songs and Sayings” stories featured in The Atlanta Newspaper at the end of the 19th century originated here.
At 132 feet high it rewards visitors breathtaking views of the Hunting Island, the marshlands and the Atlantic Ocean.
The lighthouse is open daily from 11 AM to 4:45 PM and the admission fee is $2.
Here are more photos, historic details and tips to make the best of your Hunting Island State Park and Lighthouse visit.
Tybee Island Lighthouse - 20 minutes drive from Savannah and 1 hour from Hilton Head
The Tybee Lighthouse is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia and recently underwent major renovations to restore its 1700s era authenticity.
On display is the light station 1916 day mark featuring 178 stairs and a first order 9 foot tall Fresnel Lens.
The Tybee Island lighthouse and museum are open daily except on Tuesday and holidays from 9 AM to 5:30 PM.
Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children (6-17), seniors, military personnel and groups over 10 persons.
FREE for kids 5 and under.
Read more about the lighthouse and other fun things to do with kids on Tybee Island.
Cockspur Island Lighthouse - near Fort Pulaski National Monument and Savannah
The Cockspur Island Lighthouse withstood crashing waves, cannons fires, and several hurricanes. As one of only 5 surviving lighthouses in Georgia its wooden foundation is now threatened by ship worm infestation. You can visit the Cockspur Lighthouse arriving by boat or you can get a closer look from the 0.75 mile Overlook Trail starting at Fort Pulaski.
• The Cockspur Lighthouse it’s a 46 foot tall brick tower built on a wooden frame and got its name from the shape of the land that resembled the rear claw of a fighting cock.
This tower guided vessels entering the busy Savannah port but in 1854 a massive hurricane destroyed it.
In 1856 another tower was built on the same foundations for about $6,000. Its light was extinguished during Civil War to hinder the Union blockading efforts.
• Amazingly the lighthouse suffered just minor damages during the memorable 30 hours bombardments over Fort Pulaski, despite the fact it was positioned right in the line of fire.
• A 1893 hurricane forced the light keepers to retreat permanently in the northwest tower of Fort Pulaski and in 1909 the Cockspur Light was officially extinguished; in 1958 it became part of Fort Pulaski National Monument and in 1972 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
I recently visited Folly Beach, to see the Charleston Harbor most revered sentinel, the Morris Island Lighthouse.
The 158 feet tall light tower was built in 1876 and now stands several hundreds feet offshore.
The Morris Island Lighthouse has faced war, hurricanes, erosion and decades of neglect.
Save the Light organization is working hard to change that. The lighthouse is currently undergoing a stabilization work project.
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Filed Under: Beaufort, Folly Beach, Fort Pulaski - Fort Jackson, Hilton Head, Hilton Head - Savannah, Historic Carolina Sites, Hunting Island, Inspirational, Museums, Mystery Tales and Ghosts Sightings
Tags: activities under $10, activities under $5, affordable Hilton Head family attractions, amazing lighthouse photos, Beaufort kids things to do, Charles Fraser alligator photo, cheap things to do in Hilton Head, Cockspur Island Lighthouse, Fun weekend things to do in Hilton Head, Harbour Town Lighthouse, Harbour Town pictures, Hilton Head Sea Pines Resort, Hunting Island Lighthouse, Hunting Island State Park things to do, Lighthouse ghosts, Lowcountry ghost sighthings, Morris Island Lighthouse picture, SC lighthouses history, Sea Islands historic sites, Skeleton Tower Lighthouse ghost, Tybee Island Lighthouse, Uncle Remus Gullah stories