Colonial Fort Dorchester Cannons Overlooking the Ashley River
Summerville, South Carolina. The rampart walls in front of the cannons were constructed using a technique call "Tabby". The concept or "recipe" for Tabby was used extensively in the coastal Southeast using local materials. True tabby is made of equal parts lime, water, sand, oyster shells, and ash. The ash, a byproduct of preparing the lime, contributes to the hardening of the Tabby. Tabby could be used to create foundations, walls, floors, roofs, columns, and other structural elements and dries to a hard finish that is a grayish-white. Tabby was believed to be used from the mid 1700s through to the mid 1800s. The eight-foot walls of Fort Dorchester were formed using this technique. The sturdiness of this technique is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the Fort Dorchester rampart walls were constructed in the 1700’s.