(Dataw Island, S.C.) -Dataw Island’s Sams Tabby Ruins Complex has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Dataw Historic Foundation (DHF). The director of the National Park Service made the announcement on March 11. The tabby ruins on Dataw Island date back to the Plantation Age of the 1700s and once represented one of the largest collections of such structures in the South.

“We are very happy the National Park Service has added the tabby ruins to the National Register of Historic Places,” said John Colgan, director of the Dataw Historic Foundation. “The registration process was a long and arduous one and represents the passion and hard work of a lot of people associated with our organization. This is a proud moment for Dataw Island.”

Once a collection of 15 total structures, an impressive amount of the Sams Tabby Ruins still remain intact on the southern end of the island near Jenkins Creek. The ruins are named after the Sams family who purchased Dataw Island in the 1780s in order to grow Sea Island cotton. Tabby is the name of structures that were constructed of sand, lime, water and oyster shell aggregate.

During the mid 1990s, a group of Dataw residents formed the Ruins Committee to oversee and collect artifacts, records and work on preservation efforts at the tabby ruins. The group became the Dataw Historic Foundation. Since then, the Foundation has conducted more than 15 preservation projects on the island and many of the recovered artifacts are currently on display at the community’s clubhouse.
On March 21, during the Historic Beaufort Foundation’s 45th annual meeting, they honored the Dataw Historic Foundation’s exhaustive efforts to add the tabby ruins to the National Register of Historic Places with an award recognizing the group’s “successful and exemplary historic preservation projects around Beaufort County.” The DHF was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the same organization in 2006.

Dataw Island
Located just east of the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, South Carolina in the heart of the Sea Islands, buyers at this secluded gated community gain privileged access to a pair of magnificent golf courses designed by Tom Fazio and Arthur Hills, exceptional club facilities, a full service marina and unmatched recreational boating. Lots begin at $35,000, with finely crafted homes and villas priced from $200,000 to $3 million.

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