The crumbling walls of Hampton Point Plantation have been incorporated into a subdivision at the northern end of St. Simons Island. One ruin sits in the woods between two houses, while on the other side of the street, the tabby forms part of the front fence of a house.
Although there are more impressive tabby ruins, in its day Hampton Point Plantation, established in 1774, was host to illustrious personages. Hampton Point was one of several plantations owned by Major Pierce Butler, a signer of the Constitution and an original member of the U.S. Senate. He invited Aaron Burr to his plantation in 1804 after Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Butler's grandson and namesake inherited the property and married the famous English actress, Fanny Kemble. At Hampton Point and other Butler plantations, Kemble witnessed the horrors of slavery, which inspired her to write the influential abolitionist text, Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation in 1838-1839. She describes tabby in the journal: oysters form a substantial part of the slaves' diet, and slaves keep the shells to make their huts of tabby, which is "an agglomeration of a kind very solid and durable for such building purposes." Because of his financial problems, Kemble's ex-husband in 1859 sold his slaves in an episode dubbed "The Weeping Time" because so many families were broken apart. The plantation burned in 1871.
(Sources of information include Kemble's Diary and the New Georgia Encyclopedia.)
GPS: N 31°17.513 and W 81°20.380
Address: Hampton Point Drive, St. Simons Island, GA 31522. Take Lawrence Rd. to Hampton Point Drive and continue to the northernmost part of the island.
Accessibility: The ruins are located on private property in a subdivision, but you can see the ruins from your car on both sides of the road.