National Lighthouse Day: A look inside the Sullivan's Island lighthouse
SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - On Aug. 7, 1789, Congress passed an act for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers. On the 200th anniversary in 1989, National Lighthouse Day was established.
Saturday, the National Park Service allowed limited, free public access to the Sullivan's Island lighthouse as part of its celebration of the day. It marked the first time anyone from the public was allowed inside in several years.
"It's stuffy and the stairs are steep and you really just have to focus on where your hands are and where your feet are and at the decks where there are windows you get some great views," Paula Ogden-Muse with the National Park Service said.
People were let in in groups of 10 for every 30 minutes, and only up the first 112 steps of the structure. Ogden-Muse added that a lot of work has been done over the past year including the removal of asbestos tiles.
The climb is just as she describes, steep and a little treacherous with visitors who needed the aid of the handrails nearby.
Commissioned on June 15, 1962, it was the last major lighthouse built in the United States and replaced the Morris Island Lighthouse which was built in 1876. The National Park Service took hold of it in 2008.
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