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St. Simons Island Real Estate: An Overview of Tabby Buildings

Did you know that people have been making the most of St. Simons Island real estate since the Late Archaic Period? It’s true. At the time, the rudimentary settlements belonged to indigenous people. By the 1500s, homes on the island were occupied by the Guale Indians and the Spanish missionaries that hoped to reform them. In later years, other groups migrated to the island as well.

Of course as the island’s population changed, so did the look of its real estate. One of the more interesting architectural changes to take place was the introduction of tabby buildings. Said to have originated in North Africa’s coastal communities, the building style was incorporated into St. Simons Island real estate in the 1700s.

What is a Tabby Building?

the tabby house st simons
Picture courtesy of

Basically, it is a building made with material known as tabby. Tabby consists of shells, lime, ash and sand. It caught on in many coastal areas with ready access to oyster shells, St. Simons Island being one of them.

As time went on, the material fell out of favor and some of the island’s old tabby buildings fell into disrepair. Others, however, survived. Because of that, those interested in St. Simons Island real estate can still check out old tabby buildings today.

Some of the old buildings are located at the Hampton Plantation, Fort Frederica National Monument and Gascoigne Bluff. One of the aged buildings is even available for private functions. It is called The Tabby House. You can find it located at the Methodist Center known as Epworth by the Sea.

The others previously mentioned are primarily considered to be historical sites. So they are traditionally open for public viewing throughout the year.

To learn more about the architectural wonders associated with Coastal Georgia real estate, please contact us. DeLoach Sotheby’s International Realty’s St. Simons  real estate agents may be reached by calling (912) 638-0406.


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