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Glynn County Historical Markers

Tabby


  • Source: Ed Jackson
  • Marker: Tabby
  • Location: Horton Rd. at the Horton House, Jekyll Island

TABBY

Tabby was the building material for walls, floors, and roofs

widely used throughout coastal Georgia during the Military and

Plantation Eras. It was composed of equal parts of sand,

lime, oyster shell and water mixed into a mortar and poured

into forms.

The limed used in tabby was made by burning oyster shell taken

from Indian Shell Mounds, the trash piles of the Indians.

The word tabby is African in origin, with an Arabic back-

ground, and means “a wall made of earth or masonry.” This

method of building was brought to America by the Spaniards.

When the Coquina (shell rock) quarries near St. Augustine were

opened, hewn stone superseded tabby for wall construction

there. Coastal Georgia has no coquina, so tabby continued to

be used here even as late as the 1890’s.

063-16 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1956