"T" is for Tabby

Sep 22, 2017

"T" is for Tabby. Tabby is a building material consisting of oyster shells, lime, sand, and water that is poured into a wooden mold and then tamped down. It is then left to harden for several days, after which the molds are removed and reused—with successive layers of a wall being built one on top of another until the structure reaches the desired height. With brick and stone scarce along the coast and on the Sea Islands, tabby became a durable, low-cost material for fortifications, houses, outbuildings, stores, and churches. Although Spaniards were using tabby in 17th century Florida, it was not until the 18th century that its use became common in South Carolina—especially in the Beaufort area. Today only a handful of tabby structures are still standing in Beaufort and on the Sea Islands.