The tower is made mostly of brick with a cast-iron shell. The conical tower is 136 feet (41 m) tall with a second-order Fresnel light (the original light is no longer lit and the lenses are at the base of the tower for the public to view). The top third of the tower is painted black and the lower two-thirds is painted white. A fog horn was not installed. The only sound signal is a large bell.
Construction started in 1859, but was set back as the tower was destroyed during the Civil War in 1862. Major George H. Elliot is credited with the 1860s development of what is known as the "segmented cast-iron" lighthouse design. In the United States, two were constructed: the Hunting Island Lighthouse and subsequently Florida's Cape Canaveral Light. Hunting Island's Lighthouse was designed to be disassembled and moved if required. It consists of cast-iron sections, each weighing up to 1200 pounds which are bolted together to form the shell. the shell is lined with brick, which constitutes the main load-bearing structural element.
Erection commenced in 1873, and was completed in 1875. With its 167 steps that lead to an impressive observation deck, the Hunting Island Lighthouse has handsomely built cast and wrought-iron staircase, railings and support beams that were fashioned by the Phoenix Iron Works company of Philadelphia. The Lighthouse was first located on the northern portion of Hunting Island, South Carolina, but severe beach erosion threatened the light station and its structures. By 1888 it was reported that the Atlantic Ocean’s high tide had reached within 35 feet of the keeper's house. As a result, the lighthouse, the keeper's home and two other structures were relocated a mile away in 1889 to their present locale.
August 16th, 2020
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