• Currier & Ives lithograph depicting the bombardment of Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter

    National Monument South Carolina

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  • No Elevator Serivce at Fort Sumter

    The museum, restrooms, bookstore, and top level of Fort Sumter are only accessible by climbing stairs. For more information, visit the link below or please call (843) 883-3123. More »

  • No Water or Restrooms at Fort Sumter

    Due to a break in the Charleston water line supplying Fort Sumter, restrooms and drinking water are not available at the fort. Please bring drinking water with you if you plan to visit. Water and restrooms are available aboard the ferries.

National Lighthouse Day 2013

Sullivan's Island Lighthouse Open House
Visitors at National Lighthouse Day 2012.
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: July 15, 2013
Contact: Bill Martin, (843) 883-3123 x 11

Join Fort Sumter National Monument as we celebrate National Lighthouse Day at the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse on Wednesday, August 7, 2013. The special public event takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the grounds of the U.S. Coast Guard Historic District at 1815 I’On Avenue on Sullivan’s Island.

The Historic District represents the evolution of events important in United States maritime history from 1895 to 1962. Commissioned 51 years ago on June 15, 1962 as the last major lighthouse to be built in the United States, the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse replaced the original Charleston harbor light (also known as the Morris Island Lighthouse) which was built in 1876. Its unique triangular shape, interior elevator and aluminum siding distinguish it from more traditional lighthouses.

It was on August 7, 1789 that Congress passed an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers. In honor of the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the first federal lighthouse, Congress designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day. This recognition has encouraged communities and citizens groups to dedicate themselves to the preservation of these historic structures. As part of the anniversary, lighthouses, where feasible, were open to the public. “It is in the spirit of public access that park staff and volunteers invite the public to explore the grounds of the US Coast Guard Historic District,” said Superintendent Tim Stone.

The grounds, quarters cupola and boathouse will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7th. Because of serious health and safety concerns the lighthouse interior will not be open. In addition to viewing exhibits in the historic life-saving station boathouse, visitors can pick up a free commemorative poster designed by Amelia Millar for the 50th anniversary of the lighthouse. Displays on water safety and activities for children are planned in conjunction with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and Sullivan’s Island Fire & Rescue.

Representatives from the non-profit Save the Light organization will report on efforts to preserve the Morris Island Lighthouse. Refreshments will be served.

All activities are free and open to the public. For more information, call the park at (843) 883-3123.

Did You Know?

Artist's rendition of the opening shot of the American Civil War with Fort Sumter in the distance.

The first shot of the American Civil War didn't hit anything. It was a 10-inch mortar shell, fired from Fort Johnson, that exploded above Fort Sumter as a signal for Confederate artillery to open fire on the Union-held fort. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC