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The Hilton Head Rear Range Lighthouse at Palmetto Dunes

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Destroyed by high winds in 1863, the cast iron tower was rebuilt 1891 on what is now the Arthur Hills Golf Course in Leamington Plantation. The historic lighthouse served as a beacon during the late 1800’s, guiding ships into the Port Royal Sound. The original lighthouse complex included a keeper’s house, a forward beacon, and a rear lighthouse.

For years, residents have been reporting a ghostly apparition said to haunt the lighthouse. The tale of the “Blue Lady” dates back to 1898 when Carolilne Fripp and her father Adam, tended the lighthouse. Without warning, a hurricane hit the island and left Caroline and her father trying to keep the beacon lit for a ship that was dangerously close to shore. It is believed that on that night, Adam fell to the floor from the top of the lighthouse and suffered a heart attack. Caroline brought her father to their nearby keeper’s house while she went back and forth to keep the light in the lighthouse burning. During the night her father passed and it is said that a devastated Caroline, wearing a blue dress, paced back and forth between the lighthouse and keeper’s house for several days calling out for her father. Sources say that Caroline died a few years after her father and now her ghostly figure warns others of high tides and forbidding storms.

Today, the Hilton Head Rear Range Lighthouse in Palmetto Dunes is featured on the National Register of Historic Places and occupies a unique place in Hilton Head Island history. The 94- foot rear lighthouse is all that survives. Nestled in towering pines along the Arthur Hills Golf Course, the beacon is open to the public with special permission from the Greenwood Development Corporation.

Posted on January 21, 2015
by hilton Head Rentals Staff