Roger Bansemer

Ph. 904-347-0561

HOME

 

Information and illustrations about Haig Poing lighthouse by artist & author Roger Bansemer.
Haig Point Lighthouse
Daufuskie Island, S.C. (near Hilton Head)
1873

Haig Point Lighthouse, Daufuskie Island
Haig Point Lighthouse, Daufuskie Island  by artist/author Roger Bansemer.

Haig Point lighthouse print, Daufuskie Island
Original painting also available


Haig Point Lighthouse, Daufuskie Island  by artist/author Roger Bansemer.

Haig Point lighthouse print, Daufuskie Island

Original painting also available

Haig Point lighthouse - Daufuskie Island

Just a couple miles from the south end of Hilton Head Island lies Daufuskie Island. Called the Haig Point lighthouse, this now handsomely restored structure was built in 1873 and was manned continually from the time it was built until 1924. It once included a wharf and boathouse but they had fallen into major disrepair by the time the International Paper Realty Corporation of South Carolina bought the site to develop it as an exclusive resort. In 1984 they began a painstakingly thorough restoration of the light using original floor plans and other historic reference material. The inside is furnished with period antiques. The Victorian structure includes a kitchen annex, parlor, dining room and two upstairs bedrooms. It is used as a guest house by the organization that restored it and although privately owned the lighthouse is still listed as an "official aid to navigation." The original Fresnel lens is gone and a modern acrylic optic lens and solar panels powering batteries have taken its place. It's a gorgeous and well kept lighthouse. Even the oil house and the six thousand gallon cistern are in fine condition.

Called a rear range light, Haig Point worked in conjunction with another nearby smaller light. When the two lights were lined up ships could determine their position in the channel. Several like it were used to guide ships in to the ports of Savannah and Charleston through the Intracoastal Waterway. Since the shoals were constantly drifting and changing, the channel would also change. To accommodate for this the smaller light was built on rails so it could easily be moved to reflect these changes in the channel. The smaller light no longer exists nor do any of the other range lighthouses that were once in this area. This is the only one that remains.

If you’re thinking about visiting this beautiful lighthouse, I hope you have more luck than I did. The part of the island where the lighthouse stands its watch is an exclusive and very private resort, even more so than Hilton Head. With its golf course, tennis center, equestrian center, and large club house, the island is off limits to all but the rich. I called the resort and explained that I was doing this book and wanted to include their lighthouse. No amount of talking with the people in charge could persuade them to let me visit. This is a lighthouse that is not accessible to the public. Although they sent me a lot of information before I took my small boat over to the island, I was told before hand in no uncertain terms not to set foot on the island unless I was a member or guest of a member.

A boat ramp at the end of Hilton Head Island is available where you can launch for a fee. From there it’s just a short hop over to Daufuskie Island. Just down from the lighthouse, there is a pier with a well appointed reception center attached but again we were met with some misgivings and told to leave after they saw my twelve foot aluminum boat in which I arrived. It’s a shame it’s not more accessible to the public. The good news is that you can actually see just about all you want to from the water.

Information and illustrations about Haig Poing lighthouse by artist & author Roger Bansemer.

Haig Point Lighthouse Map