Take a step back in time as you walk where owners, slaves, and Confederate and Union troops walked centuries ago. The Stoney-Baynard Ruins tells a colorful legend of two of Hilton Head’s founding families: the Stoney and Baynard families. This landmark is currently on the National Register of Historic Sites and can be found within the Sea Pines Plantation.
Cotton planter Captain John “Saucy Jack” Stoney built what he called Braddock’s Point Plantation somewhere between 1793 and 1810. The original home was built facing the Calibogue Sound in order to capture the much-appreciated breeze off the water, and although not much is left today evidence shows that the home originally stood much larger and included a large wrap-around porch.
The estate remained in the Stoney family until around 1837 when a popular Island legend says William E. Baynard acquired the plantation when the Stoney owner lost the property in a poker game. During the Civil War the plantation was raided by the Union forces and made into their Island headquarters. Shortly later, the home burned down and not rebuilt.
What makes the ruins interesting to visit is that they one of the few living testaments to an inventive masonry technique called “tabby,” popular in the Lowcountry during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was made by burning crushed oyster shells to make lime, which was then mixed with sand, whole shells and water.
A sign currently marks the location of the ruins and a well-marked pathway will lead you to the main house. Looking away from the main house, you will see the outlines of two smaller buildings to the east, assumed to be either slave quarters or storehouses. The lone block of tabby, across from the main hall, reveals evidence of a chimney, indicating an earlier house or the overseer’s house. The ruins are located in the six-acre Baynard Ruins Park off Plantation Drive in The Sea Pines Resort.