On Saturday, August 4, and Sunday, August 5, from 10-4:30, the Beaufort Radio Amateur Group (BRAG) will have their equipment at the Hunting Island Lighthouse to set up a radio station to coincide with National Lighthouse Day. Operators will be on-site to interact with visitors as BRAG “activates” the Hunting Island Lighthouse to “speak” to other lighthouses in co-ordination with celebrations at hundreds of lighthouses across the country.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the lighthouse, Ted Panayotoff, Lighthouse Director of Friends of Hunting Island, will conduct his popular Interpretive Lighthouse Tour at 10 AM on Thursday, August 9. Attendees meet at the lighthouse. Reservations are necessary. Call 843-838-7437. The Hunting Island Lighthouse is the only lighthouse in SC open to the public. There is a $2 fee to climb it and you must be over 44” tall.
On Friday, August 10 at 2pm a ceremony will be held to honor the last Keeper at Hunting Island Lighthouse, Theodore Gaillard and his wife Estelle Ellen Gaillard. It will be at the Parish Church of St. Helena Cemetery at St. Luke’s Gate on Newcastle St. between King and Prince Streets in downtown Beaufort. Keeper Gaillard retired in 1942 after serving at a lighthouse in Savannah Harbor to which he was transferred when the Hunting Island Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1933.
A US Lighthouse Service Grave Marker will be placed on their graves with a benediction by Rev. Todd Simonis, and Taps swill be played by a bugler from the Coast Guard. A poster with a photo of Keeper Gaillard and his wife will be on display and Ted Panayotoff of the FOHI will give a summary of Keeper Gaillard’s Lighthouse Service and Coast Guard career.
And on Saturday, August 11th at 2pm at the Hunting Island Lighthouse, the Beaufort Harbormasters will present a concert to honor and celebrate the history of this historic Lighthouse. Bring lawn chairs for better enjoyment.
All are invited to attend these free events though there is an entry fee to Hunting Island State Park. For more information visit www.friendsofhuntingisland.org