"T" is for Tabby

Feb 10, 2021

Credit SC Public Radio

"T" is for tabby. During the seventeenth century, the Spanish introduced tabby along the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas as a low-cost and accessible building material. It was manufactured following methods long practiced throughout southern Spain by mixing various compounds including earth, limestone, and clay with lime and then pounding or pouring the resultant mix between boards positioned to define the required building shape. Once the cast was set, the form was dismantled, repositioned, and refilled with the mix as successively higher building levels. Tabby in North America is distinguished by the use of oyster shell aggregates and lime derived from burning shells. Today, tabby is represented by a handful of structures in the city of Beaufort (including the Tabby Manse) and on Spring, St. Helena, Callawassie, and Hilton Head Islands.