Strong Walls From Refuse

Strong Walls From Refuse (HM1BWJ)

Location: Saint Simons Island, GA 31522 Glynn County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 13.398', W 81° 23.364'

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Fort Frederica Natinal Monument

The settlers of St Simon's Island in the 1700s used an unusual building material—oyster shells. The colonists found piles of them when they arrived here, discards from long-ago feasts of the local Guale and Mocama Indians. These mounds of shells, or middens, formed the basic ingredient of a crude but durable concrete called tabby.

(background) To make tabby, stacked logs and oyster shells, called ricks, were set afire and allowed to burn down to hot embers. The shells were burnt to ash. The wood and ash mixture formed lime. When mixed with water, sand, and more oyster shells the lime served as a binding agent, solidifying the mixture. It was then poured into molds for foundations and walls which were stuccoed and whitewashed to protect them from water damage.

(upper right) The settlers borrowed the recipe for tabby from the Spanish. The word might originate with the Arabic word tabbi, meaning a mixture of mortar and lime or with the Spanish word tapia which means a mud wall. It's a very old building material dating to the 1500s.

(lower right) The strong walls and foundations of many of Frederica's buildings are built of tabby.
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 1st, 2014 at 3:57am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 462912 N 3454414
Decimal Degrees31.22330000, -81.38940000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 13.398', W 81° 23.364'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 13' 23.88" N, 81° 23' 21.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)912
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6515 Frederica Rd, Saint Simons Island GA 31522, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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