Here’s a trivia question for people who have visited Hilton Head Island – Where can you find the Hilton Head lighthouse? If you answered Harbour Town, you are only partly correct. The well known Harbour Town Light was privately built as part of Harbour Town Marina and Sea Pines Plantation.
There is another lighthouse on Hilton Head that most people don’t know about. Officially, it is called the Hilton Head Range Rear Light and it is located on Hole 15 of the Arthur Hills Golf Course in the Leamington section of the Palmetto Dunes Resort.
It is quite an unusual and historic lighthouse but is out of the way and so, not very well known. The remaining structure is the interior cast-iron skeleton of what was once a wooden-clad tower that would look more like the traditional lights that we are used to. The tower is called the “Rear” light because there were originally two towers. The front light no longer exists but when operational, ships would line up beams from the two lights to give them an exact location when navigating the channel of Port Royal Sound.
The rear tower still stands along with the original brick Oil House. The keeper’s house was moved and now is in Harbour Town near the more famous of Hilton Head’s lights.
To get to the lighthouse, you need to gain entrance to the Leamington neighborhood with is gated and requires special permission to enter. We were staying in the Palmetto Dunes resort and got a pass to get in and view the light but we wouldn’t have known it exists if we hadn’t read about it. The light is not on the shoreline and is not visible from a distance. We actually drove right by it when we first went in so, you really have to know where to look in order to find it.
Hilton Head Range Rear Light
(a.k.a. Leamington Light)
Arthur Hills Golf Course
Palmetto Dunes – Leamington
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
38mm @ f/11 – 1/200 sec – ISO 200