Between the Waters: Hobcaw Barony


While much of the history of the South is limited to the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, one tract stands out because Belle Baruch, the daughter of financier Bernard Baruch, purchased her father's property and left Hobcaw Barony and its more than 16,000 acres and the money to protect it.

Hobcaw House

The main house sits on a bluff overlooking Winyah Bay, where five rivers enter the Atlantic. Inside, you'll visit the estate where Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, among other leaders of the free world stayed. Throughout the year tours go to the house and a number of fundraising activities are held there. You do need to make reservations to tour the house.

Discovery Center

Every tour at Hobcaw Barony begins at the Discovery Center with a 15-minute intro to the property. From there, you can board a bus that will take you to Friendfield, Bellefield and the surrounding villages and buildings, depending on the weather, of course. Friendfield is an intact slave village while Bellefield is the area that includes Belle Baruch's home and stables.

Friendfield

This intact village was the home of freed slaves and includes housing, a school and a church, among other buildings. While the blacks were on the property when Bernard Baruch bought Hobcaw Barony between 1905 and 1907 as a hunting retreat. The last descendant of the slaves who called the property home, left in 1952, but the buildings remain.

Research

Both Clemson University and the University of South Carolina work and study on the property. The two colleges focus their projects on forestry and coastal ecology, and work in tandem -- unless they are playing each other in football or basketball.

Getting There

You can drive to Hobcaw Barony or arrive by boat via Capt. Rod's tours that start in Georgetown. The boat ties up at Hobcaw's wharf, and was a favorite way for Bernard and Belle Baruch and their guests to arrive. By car, your destination is just north of Georgetown.

A.E. Crone has written and edited for publications in the Grand Strand and worldwide.