Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tabby... Not Rock


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This is a section of the old seawall along the bay in St. Augustine. You can find buildings of this material throughout the southern colonial coast. It is a form of primitive poured concrete called Tabby.

To make a Tabby wall, colonists built wooden forms, then prepared the Tabby. Oyster shells were gathered, heated and then crushed fine to make the cement that holds Tabby together. The cement was mixed with an aggregate of broken shells and then poured into forms. It wasn't reinforced and tended to crack, but there are many, many Tabby buildings from the 1700's still standing throughout the southeast.

Coquina, a natural shellstone is similar in appearance. The shells in coquina tend to be smaller and more uniform in size. Posted by Picasa

6 comments:

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Whenever I read your posts I feel like I am in school again...it is very informative.

Is there going to be a test on this?
Just kidding.

Floridacracker said...

abandoned,
I hope you liked school :)

Hey no tests here...I don't want to grade them!

vicki said...

When we got our place in Florida I was initially pleased to discover the loose shell walkway between the house and garage- and then I walked on it barefoot. Since I am barefoot at every opportunity, the walkway is going bye.
On the other hand, it's always wise to use what is plentiful and at hand...

Rurality said...

When I was a kid I had mixed feelings about shells in the walls in FL. On one hand... cool... on the other hand... if I saw one I liked, how was I supposed to get it out?!

Wayne said...

I have some relatives who have lived for several generations in Key West. As I recall they called this moral. Really. Is that possible?

There's a lot of tabby down to Jekyll Island - I'm really taken with it.

Floridacracker said...

Vicki,
I hear ya. I can't stand to walk on pebbles or shell barefoot.


Rurality,
At night with a screwdriver. Just hope they don't have one of those game camera thingies like some folks...


Wayne,
Could be an old Conch expression. Are you sure they weren't saying "Marl"? I think that is a south FL rock. Have you been to Fort Freddy on St. Simons?