Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2012

Saving Haig Point Lighthouse

By Timothy Harrison


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South Carolina’s Haig Point Rear Range Lighthouse.
Photo by: Barbara Patch

The remaining structure that once served as South Carolina’s Haig Point Range Lighthouses on Daufuskie Island may be in good shape structurally, but Mother Nature continues in her efforts to claim the structure.

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This 1883 image of Haig Point Rear Range ...

The Haig Point Range Lighthouses were built in 1873 to guide vessels into Calibogue Sound as well as to help for safe passage between Port Royal Harbor and the Savannah River. The lighthouses were discontinued in the 1920s. Over time they fell into disrepair and at some point the Haig Point Front Range Lighthouse was demolished. However, the Haig Point Rear Range Lighthouse was saved in the 1960s by George Bostwick. In the late 1980s it was wonderfully restored for overnight stays by guests of members of the Haig Point Club.

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The Haig Point Front Range Lighthouse was built ...

As has been common with many other lighthouses in the United States and around the world, erosion has threatened the Haig Point Rear Range Lighthouse. This is not the first time erosion has threatened a lighthouse on Daufuskie Island. In 1899, the Bloody Point Front Range Lighthouse was moved to save it from the encroaching sea. In the last three years the Haig Point Rear Range Lighthouse has lost half of its shorefront, leaving the structure now only 30 feet from the water’s edge. However, just north of the lighthouse, the erosion is even worse, with 150 feet having been lost in the last three years.

As is typical with government over-regulation, the laws do not allow the land to be replaced and filled in, even to save a building that is a historic site. So, the only alternative is to place in a quarter mile long revetment of boulders and netting to try to stop the erosion. But there is no help from the government. The private community of some 400 members on Daufuskie Island will be footing the bill to save the lighthouse.

Footnote: Joe Yocius, who owns the Bloody Point Front Range Lighthouse, has been collecting artifacts from Haig’s Point’s eroding banks for years. Among those items are fine, and very rare, South Carolina sea glass, English porcelain, and all types of colorful glass. Joe felt these items no longer belonged in a box or on display in his home. He says they belong on ladies and gentlemen to be elegantly worn and passed down to generations. Joe has now fashioned them in fine sterling silver and 14k gold and these timeless pieces of history can be purchased at the historic Silver Dew Winery on the Daufuskie Island. They can also be view on-line at www.BloddyPoint.com.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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