Hilton Head lighthouses

Paul LinesStarred Page By Paul Lines, 27th Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>South Carolina

A visit to Hilton Head Island, SC, is not complete without taking a tour of the island's remaining lighthouses

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island, which was named after Captain William Cook of England who discovered it in 1663, has two remaining lighthouses, although one of these is not considered by some to be a real lighthouse as it was built by a businessman and is not maintained by the US Coast Guard.

Rear Range lighthouse

Rear Range is considered the only authentic lighthouse on Hilton's Head. It was originally the tallest of a pair of lighthouses, with the other aptly call Front Light. The purpose of these two lights was to act as a guide to ships captains to ensure their safe passage through the sound and into harbour. They used a simple method to achieve this, because all that the captain needed to do to ensure the ship's safety was to direct it towards a position where the rear light was directly above the front one. This method ensures that he was sailing in the right channel.

Whilst all that remains of the front light is the oil storage and outbuildings, the Rear Light still stand proud a mile inland from the Atlantic Ocean at the southern end of the island, where its ninety-five foot high light and watch room is accessible by climbing the internal one hundred and twelve stairs. Surrounded by tall trees and set in the middle of a golf course, visitors rarely see the Rear Light, but the magnificent structure, which was built in 1881, is a historic tribute to the construction workers of the day and well worth a visit.

Harbour town lighthouse

By comparison the faux Harbour Town Lighthouse is relatively young, having only been completed in 1970. However, although traditionalists deny its official lighthouse status, its positioning when set against the Harbour Town Golf Links, has led to it being seen by millions worldwide as a result of many appearances on golf event broadcasts. Due to this exposure the lighthouse has also attracted thousands of visitors and acts as a promotional brand symbol for the island.

The lighthouse, which still functions, is also open to the public as a commercial tourist venue, museum and visitor information centre. For example on each of the nine landings there are paintings and historical information about the island and its inhabitants over the years, together with information about other sites of interest that can be found on the island. At the top can be found a shop where a range of tourist gifts can be purchased. It should also be that a small fee is charged for admission to the lighthouse.

As the light can be seen for a distance of thirteen miles and it appears on navigational maps, many argue that it is in fact an authentic lighthouse. Nevertheless, whatever the view on its authenticity, the Harbour Town lighthouse, with its imposing red and white-banded exterior, is an attraction that needs to be included in any visit to Hilton Head Island.


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Carolina Vacation, Carolinas, Hilton Head, Holidays, South Carolina

Meet the author

author avatar Paul Lines
Having spent a large part of my working life as a business consultant, I am now a full time freelance writer offering content for on-line and print publishers, as well as focusing on creative writing

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Dec 2010 (#)

Great job, Paul. You earned the start with this presentation. One thing though, you might want to correct the typo in your Wikinut referral link--you typed "warn" when you meant to type "earn." Happens to all of us at one time or another.

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author avatar Paul Lines
27th Dec 2010 (#)

Thanks Jerry. I have corrected the typo

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author avatar Denise O
28th Dec 2010 (#)

I just love lighthouses, I don't know why. This looks like a wonderful place to visit.
Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Paul Lines
28th Dec 2010 (#)

They do seem to have some sort of magnetic attraction

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