Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Hobcaw Barony / A Woman's Gift

Marker ID:  
Location: 22 Hobcaw Road, Georgetown, SC
County: Georgetown
Coordinates: N 33° 21.817    W 079° 13.633
  33.36361666    -79.22721666


Hobcaw Barony
A Woman's Gift

The 17,500-acre Hobcaw Barony is one of the few remaining undeveloped tracts of land on the Waccamaw Neck. Once part of a 1716 land grant, its name comes from Hobcaw, the Native American word meaning between the waters, and barony from land grant. Over the years, the barony was subdivided into 14 plantations, becoming part of the great Carolina Golf rice empire.

Rice production was labor intensive, so cheap slave labor was used to clear swamps and grow the crop. The 1650's were the most profitable for Georgetown rice planters. During this period, Hobcaw Barony produced nearly six million pounds of rice in one year alone. After the Civil War, rice cultivation declined because of competition from western planters, and, ultimately, a series of weather events halted the growth in the late 1800's.

Bernard Baruch, a native South Carolinian and financier, purchased the property in 1905 to use as a winter retreat. His daughter Belle later purchased the family property, and at her death, the Belle W. Baruch Foundation was created. The mission of the Foundation is to conserve Hobcaw Barony's unique natural and cultural resources for college level research in the fields of marine biology, wildlife and forestry.

South Carolina Heritage Corridor