Morris Island lighthouse stabilized, not yet saved

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - A 10-year effort to preserve the Morris Island Lighthouse in Charleston Harbor has protected the 19th Century light from collapse. But the structure is far from saved.

The Port and Courier of Charleston reports{}Wednesday that $5 million has been spent to repair the lighthouse's rotting foundation and put a cofferdam around its base. The lighthouse is washed by the ocean after erosion caused by the Charleston Harbor jetties washed away most of Morris Island.

Now that the foundation has been stabilized, a volunteer group is turning its attention to repairing the 203 steps leading to the light itself, painting the lighthouse and repairing the light room at the top.

"We are two phases into the restoration of the lighthouse. The first two stabilized the foundation. Where we're at now is trying to fix up the exterior and interior, put glass back in it, metal-works. It needs a lot of work inside. We don't have an actual estimate, but we know it is going to be over $2 million. We only have about a $500,000 in our coffers right now," said Al Hitchcock, the chairman of the Save the Light group.

The group is holding an oyster roast on Sunday to raise money for the work.{}It's being held at Bowen's Island between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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