"Leamington or Hilton Head Rear Range Light c1881" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Off The Beaten Path Tip by grandmaR
United States of America Off The Beaten Path: 302 reviews and 511 photos
The FAKE lighthouse at Harbour Town, on the southern end of Hilton Head Island, is more widely known, but the Hilton Head Rear Range Light is the only true lighthouse. ..
The actual Hilton Head lighthouse was one of two range lights. This six-legged tower rising to a height of 95 feet located a quarter mile inland served as the rear light.
The lights come complete with a Southern tradition, a resident ghost. A fierce hurricane in 1898 didn’t prevent keeper Adam Fripp from tending to his lights. In a driving rain, Fripp made his way to the oil house, and then to the tower and up the spiral staircase. Just as he reached the top, a powerful gust of wind shattered one of the glass panes in the lantern room. The strain of the ascent coupled with the shock of the exploding glass was more than Fripp’s heart could handle. Hours later, his daughter Caroline noticed her father’s prolonged absence and went in search of him. Wearing a long blue dress, Caroline climbed the tower where she discovered her dying father. Fripp implored his daught to "keep the light burning no matter how dangerous the storm". Caroline .. slosh[ed] through hip-deep water to replenish the lamps with oil...she died shortly thereafter. Since that time, sightings of a girl in a blue dress near the tall skeletal tower have been reported on dark rainy nights.
The lights were decommissioned in 1932.
I asked the concierge how I could get into Palmetto Dunes to take a photo of the lighthouse and she said it couldn't be done. But we got a pass - it was really easy - they had a drive-up pass window and the pass lady told us how to get there. We went through the first gate, and then turned on Leamington Lane and went through the second gate and down to the golf course and the lighthouse was there. It was right by what I think was a bathroom on the golf course.
After I finished taking the pictures I saw a big bird - possibly an osprey - land on the roof, and then another one did the same. I think they must have a nest up there.
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