The vernacular building material known as tabby is particular to the Lowcountry along the South’s Atlantic coast. Made of lime, sand, water, and oyster shells, the rough, grayish cement was used beginning in the colonial era to build houses, fortifications, and slave quarters. Shells were collected from oyster middens, piles of shucked debris left by Native Americans. Jekyll Island’s Horton House, right, is among the state’s oldest tabby structures.
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This article originally appeared in our May 2015 issue.