Sams Plantation on Dataw Island, SC, is an extensive complex of tabby ruins including the sprawling plantation house, kitchen chimney, dairy/cold room, barn/stable, blade house, slave quarters, chapel, and cemetery.
William Sams purchased Dataw Island in 1783 and began construction of a tabby plantation devoted to sea island cotton. His son, B. B. Sams, inherited the plantation in 1808 and expanded it to include approximately 15 tabby buildings. Not only was this a large plantation that included its own chapel and cemetery, but it was also unusual in that nearly all the structures were built of tabby. Sams died in 1855, and the federal government took over the island in 1863 because of overdue taxes. A fire destroyed the plantation in 1876. In 1983 Alcoa began construction of a residential community on the island. Alcoa and island residents formed the Dataw Historic Foundation committed to the preservation of the Sams Plantation Complex Tabby Ruins.
Update: William A. Riski of Dataw Island reports that an excavation conducted in March 2018 next to the chimney has unearthed tabby dating from the 1700s. Studies are underway to determine the function of these early tabby remnants.
GPS: N 32°25.927 and W 80°34.991
Address: 100 Dataw Club Rd., Dataw Island, SC 29920 (The ruins are in the vicinity of the clubhouse, golf course, and tennis courts.)
Accessibility: Dataw Island is a private gated community. (We had reservations at a restaurant on the island, so the guard checked us in and allowed us on the island.)
For more information, see the Dataw Historic Foundation.