Callawassie Sugar Works

National Register Listing
Street Address:
29 Sugar Mill Dr., Okatie vicinity (Beaufort County)
Alternate Name:

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Callawassie Sugar Works is significant in industry for its representation of a pre-industrial process related to agriculture, as the only known remnants of a sugar cane processing operation in early-nineteenth century South Carolina, and as a relatively rare example of tabby construction on the Southeastern coast and sea islands in the first half of the nineteenth century. The Callawassie Sugar Works site is also significant in archeology for its potential to answer questions about the technology and labor used in making sugar during the early nineteenth century. The Callawassie Sugar Works included three principal buildings or structures: a sugar mill, boiling house, and curing shed with the boiling house and curing shed arranged in a “T”-shaped configuration. The current site contains the tabby ruins of the sugar mill base, or foundation, and the boiling house, and archaeological evidence of the curing shed. The sugar works were constructed ca. 1815-1816 while Callawassie Island was owned by James Hamilton, Jr., a lawyer and planter who had been an officer in the War of 1812. He would later serve in the S.C. House of Representatives 1819-1822, as intendant of Charleston in 1822, and in the U.S. House of Representatives 1822-1829 before being elected governor of South Carolina 1830-32, at the height of the Nullification crisis. Hamilton gained legal control of the island when he married Elizabeth Heyward in 1813, and moved there in 1815. The sugar mill complex, built sometime within the next three years, was based on plans similar to mill construction seen in the West Indies, as Hamilton had acquired several close and influential West Indian connections who were heavily involved in the Caribbean sugar trade. Listed in the National Register May 27, 2014.
Period of Significance:
circa 1815 – 1818
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
Archeology: Historic - Non-Aboriginal;Industry
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
May 27 2014

Related place
Beaufort County