CONSERVATION: What is Tabby?

Aug 8 2012

by Whitney Long

(photo and text by Ramey Shirah)

Tabby, also known as “coastal concrete,” is a mix of lime, sand and water and is found primarily along the southern Atlantic coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. This unique building material was the most commonly used during the colonial days because of its resilience to the humidity and its sturdiness. Introduced by the Spanish, tabby was composed of equal parts sand, lime, oyster shells, and water. The lime was created by burning oyster shells from the Indian Shell Mounds, left behind by the Guale Indians.

Experience history first-hand and look for these ruins the next time you’re exploring the Golden Isles or South Carolina:

Places to visit with historic remnants of authentic tabby construction in the Golden Isles

-The Horton-DuBignon House on Jekyll Island

-The Hollybourne Cottage in the historic district on Jekyll Island

-The ruins of Spalding’s plantation on Sapelo Island

-The slave cabins at Gasciogne Bluff on St. Simons Island

-Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island

-Slave quarter ruins at Hampton Plantation on St. Simons Island

-1313 Newcastle Street, Brunswick (see display on south facade of building)

-The Adam Strain Building, the oldest building in Darien (tabby with a stucco exterior)

-Fort King George, Darien

Places to visit with historic remnants of authentic tabby construction in South Carolina

-Tabby Manse in Downtown Beaufort

-The Edwards Tabby Ruins on Spring Island

-Chapel of Ease on St. Helena Island

-The remains of the B. B. Sams Plantation House on Dataw Island

– The Stoney-Baynard Ruins and The George Edwards House – both on Hilton Head Island

The Southern Coterie contributor Ramey Shirah has an exquisite eye for photography and a big heart for conservation and nature and combines both on her blog and twitter feed: and @goldenislesGA.


Whitney Long View More Blog Posts from this Author

Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and The Southern C Summit. Mama x 4, wife x 1. Entrepreneur, thinker, doer, writer, researcher, believer. Enjoys working alongside creative entrepreneurs to build community while supporting established and upcoming brands. Hobbies include travel, reading, bike rides and clever craft cocktails.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts