By Dawn Davis for The Island Eye News
Join Fort Sumter National Monument as we celebrate National Lighthouse Day on the grounds the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse on Sunday, Aug 6. The free special public event with family friendly activities takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1815 I’On Ave. on Sullivan’s Island.
While the grounds and boathouse will be open to the public, the lighthouse will not because of health and safety concerns.
Visitors may view exhibits in the historic life-saving station boathouse. Activities for children include boat building and a special junior ranger activity to earn a badge.
Additional exhibits will focus on water safety and lighthouse preservation. Partner organizations that will be in attendance include: US Coast Guard Sector Charleston, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Sullivan’s Island Fire & Rescue and the Morris Island Lighthouse Save the Light organization.
It was on August 7, 1789 that Congress passed an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers. In honor of the 200th Anniversary of the establishment of the first federal lighthouse, Congress designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day. This recognition has encouraged communities and citizens groups to dedicate themselves to the preservation of these historic structures. As part of the anniversary, lighthouses, where feasible, were open to the public.
“This annual event is a great opportunity to come out and explore the grounds of the US Coast Guard Historic District and learn about Sullivan’s Island lighthouse,” said acting Superintendent Gary Stansberry.
The Historic District represents the evolution of events important in United States maritime history from 1895 to 1962.
Commissioned 55 years ago on June 15, 1962 as the last major lighthouse to be built in the United States, the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse replaced the original Charleston harbor light (also known as the Morris Island Lighthouse) which was built in 1876. Its unique triangular shape, interior elevator and aluminum siding distinguish it from more traditional lighthouses.
Now entering its second century, the National Park Service continues to explore new ways to help visitors connect and find their parks.
For more information on park news, events and programs, follow us on Facebook at /FtSumterNPS, /FtMoultrieNPS, and /PinckneyNPS. Visit the park websites at nps.gov/fosu and nps.gov/chpi, or call 843.883.3123. You can also share your park experience with others by posting on social media with the hashtag #FindYourPark. Come find yours today.