Another beautiful day at Hobcaw Barony


At about this point, some of y’all are wondering, “What happened to Brad?”

The answer is, nothing. I just had a busy weekend, and then was traveling today.

We had a meeting down at Hobcaw Barony, a fascinating client of ADCO’s. Our meeting wasn’t that long, but we spent most of the day traveling. Before leaving, I wanted to go out and see the unspoiled inlet that forms a significant part of the property, where USC’s Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences does research.

It was beautiful. We had endured rain all the way down, and were to do so much of the way back, so this was a nice break.

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been…

15 thoughts on “Another beautiful day at Hobcaw Barony

  1. bud

    It is beautiful. Just give the Republicans time and they’ll find a way to spoil it. They want to lease all kinds of federal lands so we can drill even more. Check out some of the oil spills thanks to busted pipelines. Instead of drill baby drill maybe the GOP can adopt spill baby spill as a plank in their party platform.

  2. Norm Ivey

    Is that white spot an egret of some sort? Looks like the kind of place you just want to be still and wait for the wildlife come to you. There are worse places for meetings.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      It’s an egret, or some other type of heron. You see them all over the inlets.

      On our way there and back, somewhere about 20 miles or so inland, we saw 20 or so of them grouped together in a small farm pond, which struck me as strange. Usually you see one or two at a time, well spaced. When we drove back, it was raining hard, and their heads were scrunched down into what you might call their shoulders, and they looked perfectly miserable. But they kept standing in that pond, for whatever reason…

  3. Mark Stewart

    Yankee money has saved most of the South Carolina natural landscapes that remain. Not to knock the incredible efforts of everyone around Cola that saved the Congaree, however. It is a national treasure.

    But on the coast? Yankees saved the day.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    Of course, Yankees tended to have a lot more disposable income to buy and preserve large tracts…..still do.

    1. Silence

      Well, land tended to be a lot cheaper in rural South Carolina (especially in the previous century) than say, land on Long Island. More available too.

  5. Brad Warthen

    Bernard Baruch may have come down from Wall Street with the money to buy the old barony (originally a grant from the king to a Lord Proprietor), but he was not a Yankee.

    He was a South Carolina native, from Camden.

    And he was not the one who set aside Hobcaw Barony as a nature preserve. His daughter Belle did that.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Growing up, Belle spent her winters at Hobcaw. She was probably in New York and other locales the rest of the time. I get the impression that having that experience there growing up is what attached her to the land, with an attachment deeper than her father’s. He sold it to her over time, preferring to hunt instead at another property he owned near Kingstree.

        She received an inheritance of a million dollars when she turned 16, and moved to Europe, where she won many championships for horseback riding. She moved to Hobcaw in the mid-30s (there is speculation that she did so at the urging of her parents, as her father was close to Churchill and would have been listening to his warnings about Hitler), built her home Bellefield (actually the name of a former plantation on the site, not named for her), and started buying the barony from her father. She had finally bought all of it by 1936.

        I think she had an apartment in New York as well. She got around — she had taken up aviation as she gave up riding competitively — but I think Hobcaw was her home until her untimely death in 1964. She died of cancer, a year before her father.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          She was very much the old-school great landowner.

          There were two schools on the property — one for the kids of the white folks who worked there, one for the children of black employees. Belle acted as truant officer, chasing down kids in the woods and swamps when they tried to skip.

          She was also tough on poachers. She’d swoop down on them in one of her airplanes, but not too close, because she didn’t want to upset their boat and cause the evidence to disappear. Then she’d wait for them at their landing place, with the sheriff…

  6. Brad Warthen Post author

    I’ve really enjoyed learning about the Baruchs — things I really should have known before about such remarkable South Carolina figures.

    For instance, do you know that Bernard coined the term, “Cold War”? At least, he was the first American to use the phrase publicly. And he did it in a speech to the SC Legislature, on April 17, 1947.

    Since Baruch had been such a close strategic adviser to presidents since Woodrow Wilson, newspapers quickly picked it up and soon everyone was using the term. Baruch said the term had been suggested to him by H.B. Swope, editor of the New York World. It had been used earlier by George Orwell. But it was Baruch saying it that made it a household phrase.

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