Sullivan's Island lighthouse turns 50

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Sullivan's Island lighthouse celebrated it's 50th birthday on Saturday. A ceremony was held on the grounds of the U.S. Coast Guard Historic District.

"When people see a picture of a lighthouse, they do think Sullivan's Island. That's really clear. Fort Moultire is another icon, but the shape of the island you see it (the lighthouse) from afar," said park ranger, Carlin Timmons. "It's definitely the one that people associate with this island community."

The anniversary ceremony held on Saturday featured the lighthouse's architect, Jack Graham, who was just 25-years-old when he designed the structure. National Park Officials say the 50th year for the lighthouse is beneficial for making sure it stays up.

"It's important because it makes it eligible for the national registrar and it marks time," Timmons said.

Due to safety and health concerns, the lighthouse is not presently open to the public.

"Even though we can't go inside the lighthouse that is a long-term goal," Timmons said. "There is no time frame yet for when we can go back in."

The Sullivan's Island lighthouse is the last major lighthouse to be built in the United States back in 1962.