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Bay Point, SC  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Bay Point Lighthouse

1861 – Immediately on the receipt of intelligence of the capture of Port Royal a light-vessel was ordered to be fitted and sent to that locality to take the place of the one removed by the rebels, and which was burned so soon as Port Royal was captured.

1862 – The light-vessel stationed by the board off Port Royal entrance in place of the one destroyed by the insurgents, has been kept in position during the past year, and has proved of very material assistance to the numerous vessels bound into Port Royal and along that portion of the coast.

1863 – Appropriated by act of Congress, for a series of range-lts. as aids at Port Royal Harbor, S.C., March 3, 1863, $7,000.

1863 – Congress, at its last session, having made an appropriation for the establishment of range lights to facilitate the entrance into Port Royal harbor, early measures were adopted to secure the designed end. The necessary preliminary examinations were made, the plans and estimates of the engineer approved, and the construction of the buildings completed at Portland, Maine. When ready they were sent out to Port Royal and put up. These ranges consist of two lights on Hilton Head island, one light on Bay Point, and a light-vessel anchored on Fishing Rip. Through the courtesy of the general commanding the United States forces at Port Royal, the necessary details of soldiers were made to assist in opening a vista through the woods for the inner range on Hilton Head, and by the kindness of the admiral commanding the South Atlantic Gulf squadron, a suitable vessel for Fishing Rip was placed at the disposal of the board. These lights have been completed and lighted, to the great benefit of the increasing commerce seeking that port.

1863 – The tenders in this district have been kept constantly and usefully employed, and one of them was sent to Beaufort, South Carolina, laden with the materials for constructing the range lights authorized by Congress for Port Royal entrance, the structures for those lights having been framed and fitted in this district.

1864 – The new lights established to facilitate entrance into Port Royal harbor have proved of immense benefit to the large commerce seeking that port.

1865 – The range-lights for Port Royal entrance have been continued. The Bay Point beacon-light (part of this range) is built on a large barrack erected by the rebels in 1861, slightly built, and already beginning to show signs of decay. This important harbor requires a light of the second or third order, and a special appropriation to cover the expense of the establishment of such a light is submitted.

1866 – For a new lt-ho. At Bay Point, Port Royal entrance, S.C., July 27, 1866, $50,000.

1866 – The building used for exhibiting a light at Bay Point, South Carolina, (formerly a barrack,) was destroyed by a tornado on the 29th May. A temporary wooden tower has been erected, and a light is now exhibited as usual.

1867 – Bay Point.—The temporary works (on old rebel barracks) were blown down in 1866, and a good skeleton frame of wood was erected The illuminating apparatus is only a steamer's lens, yet it seems to be all that is required. Unless some greater necessity appears in the future, the appropriation of fifty thousand dollars for a new light at this point will not be expended.

1868 – Bay Point.—When the sale of public property belonging to the Navy Department at this place, was made, the building heretofore occupied as a keeper's dwelling was reserved from sale and turned over to the light-house establishment. It required considerable repairs to roof, &c. The tower is but temporary in its character, and is in good condition. No steps have yet been taken towards building the light-house authorized by act of Congress approved July 28, 1866; and it is doubtful whether the light will ever be required.

1869 – Bay Point.—Light discontinued.

1878 – Bay Point, entrance to Port Royal Harbor, South Carolina.— An appropriation of $40,000 was made, July 30, 1876, for the establishment of range-lights at Hilton Head and Bay Point, entrance to Port Royal Harbor. Examinations of the channels entering the harbor were made, and the site for the light to be established on Bay Point was fixed. Legal difficulties have caused delay in acquiring title, but, as the act approved June 20, 1878, repeals the former act directing the establishment of a light on Bay Point, all operations relating thereto have been suspended. This act authorized the construction of range-lights instead on Paris Island.


  • Head: Edward M. Converse (1863 – 1866), Henry H. Cowdery (1866), Albert B. Ashley (1866 – 1867), John Masson (1867), William H. Beers (1867 – 1869).
  • Assistant: Margaret Converse (1863 – 1866), Missouri A. Cowdery (1866), Jeannette W. Ashley (1866 – 1867), William Taylor (1867 – 1869).

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