I recently had the opportunity to see a bit of Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown, SC – an amazing piece of land that simply oozes with history. As I was driving around the place, I loved how there were road signs directing you to Highway 17 – you couldn’t get lost as long as you could find your way back to Highway 17.
Here’s a bit of what the Belle W. Baruch Foundation website has to say about the place:
A 17, 500 acre research reserve, Hobcaw Barony is one of the few undeveloped tracts on the Waccamaw Neck. The Native Americans called it “hobcaw,” meaning between the waters. In 1718, the land became a colonial land grant, a barony. Sold and subdivided into plantations extending from the river to the sea, Hobcaw Barony was part of the great rice empire until the turn of the 20th century.
Check out the Tours and Programs available at Hobcaw Barony here. And don’t forget – as you’re driving on Highway 17 near Georgetown, do stop by and visit the Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center (check out their Facebook page to get additional information on events at the Center and at Hobcaw). Oh – and while you’re at the Center, do take a look at Mary Edna Fraser’s beautiful batik on silk of Hobcaw Barony. It’s lovely.
For this visit, I got to explore Friendfield Village on Hobcaw Barony – here is what Wikipedia has to say about this old slave settlement:
Friendfield Village is between Kings Highway and Hobcaw Road. It has five unused houses, a church and a dispensary. There are several antebellum slave cabins built prior to the Civil War. One is deteriorated. Two others were remodeled in 1905. The Friendfield Church, which was built between 1890 and 1900, is a rectangular building with board-and-batten siding, a gabled metal roof, and a pyramidal spire. This was remodeled under the direction of Bernard Baruch. It is typically of South Carolina lowcounty, freedmen’s chapels. The Friendfield Dispensary was built under the direction of Bernard Baruch as school on Bellefield Plantation for the children of white employees. About 1935, it was moved next to Fairfield Church. Two additional cottages in Friendfield Village were built around 1935.
(A 1905 image of Friendfield Village from the Georgetown County Digital Library.)
Additional Links of Interest:
South Carolina Department of Archives and History – Hobcaw Barony
Georgetown Digital Library – Belle W. Baruch Collection
National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form – Hobcaw Barony
Grand Strand Master Gardeners Association – Friendfield Village and Heirloom Vegetable Garden photos
David Withers Photography – Spring at Friendfield Village