Tabby was the building material for walls, floors, and roofs widely used throughout coastal Georgia during the Military and Plantation Eras. It was composed of equal parts of sand, lime, oyster shell and water mixed into a mortar and poured into forms.
The lime used in tabby was made by burning oyster shell taken from Indian Shell Mounds, the trash piles of the Indians. The word tabby is African in origin, with an Arabic background, and means "a wall made of earth or masonry." This method of building was brought to America by the Spaniards.When the Coquina (shell rock) quarries near St. Augustine were opened, hewn stone superseded tabby for wall construction there. Coastal Georgia has no coquina, so tabby continued to be used even as late as the 1890s.