Local native cultures are reflected in the names of surrounding rivers and places. Sampit, Pee Dee, Winyah, and Waccamaw are known area tribes.In 1670, the English created the first permanent settlement in Carolina at Charles Towne. By 1716, an English/Native American trading post had been established at Hobcaw Barony. Within a few years the English were also exporting enslaved Native Americans.Hobcaw Barony was one of 10 colonial baronies bestowed by English King George I in 1718. John Lord Carteret, one of 10 Lords Proprietors, received Hobcaw Barony, but sold the undeveloped land in 1730. Divided and subdivided into a number of individual plantations, most of Hobcaw Barony's new boundary lines ran from the river to the sea, across the Waccamaw Neck.As early as 1737, an established ferry operated from the bluff that carried naval stores from the plantations to Georgetown. The term “naval stores” has come to refer to the many forest products required by the wooden ship industry such as pitch for caulking, and heavy timbers for mast and spars.The plantation system was established in the agricultural Southern colonies and quickly became dependent on slave labor, first from Barbados and then primarily from West Africa. By 1736, Georgetown was an official port of entry. Early exports included naval stores, salt, animal hides, pickled beef and salted or smoked pork. Export crops included citrus fruits, wine, grapes, tobacco, cotton, corn, indigo and rice.Bernard Mannes Baruch (1870-1965) was born in Camden, SC. His father had been a Jewish immigrant to SC and served as a medical officer in the American Civil War. His mother was a SC native and daughter of a Jewish plantation owner. After Reconstruction, Bernard's parents moved the family to NYC and Bernard graduated from City College of NY in 1881. He began his career on Wall Street as an errand boy at a stock brokerage firm and became a Wall Street millionaire by age 30. In 1905 Bernard purchased Hobcaw Barony.Bernard Baruch advised seven U.S. Presidents and other foreign dignitaries. He became a lifelong friend of Winston Churchill, who frequently visited Hobcaw Barony for vacation. In 1932, Winston Churchill arrives at Hobcaw Barony after recuperating in the Bahamas from being struck by a car in New York CityBelle Wilcox Baruch (1899-1964), raised in New York, was the oldest of Bernard and Annie's three children. Beginning in 1904, when her parents purchased the land, Belle and her family would visit Hobcaw Barony each winter, where she spent many hours riding, hunting and exploring the property. An excellent hunter, Belle hunted duck and other wildlife until their populations dwindled, but stalked feral hogs until the end of her life. In this Christmas 1935 photo, Belle Baruch (wearing camellia and nandina corsage) joins family, staff and friends on the Hobcaw dock, shortly after her father agreed to sell her 5000 acres of the barony's northern end. .One of the seven U.S. Presidents that Bernard Baruch advised during his life was President Franklin Roosevelt, who became a lifelong friend of the Baruch family. Bernard invited the President to convalesce at Hobcaw Barony during World War II. He accepted the invitation and vacations at Hobcaw Barony for 4 weeks, his longest vacation in all four terms of his presidency.At the time of her death in 1964, Belle Baruch solely owned all 16,000 acres of the barony. Her will created a trust for the property which established a foundation, named trustees and made clear her wishes for the land in perpetuity. An outdoor laboratory, Hobcaw Barony is managed with Belle's vision for an opportunity to study coastal plain ecosystems in a relatively undisturbed environment. Her unique gift to scientists and educators is often called "Belle's legacy."Clemson’s first research begins in 1965 with "An Interim Plan of Forest Management for The Belle W. Baruch Foundation Property in Georgetown, South Carolina," which was completed in December 1966. November 14, Clemson University and the Belle W. Baruch Foundation agreed to establish a research institute at Hobcaw Barony, called Belle W. Baruch Institute of Forestry and Marine Biology.The University of South Carolina creates their first marine biology program at Hobcaw Barony under the auspices of the Belle W. Baruch Foundation. The University begins it's research on the property focusing on marine biology and estuary research.March 22, 1972, the University of South Carolina and the The Belle W. Baruch Foundation agreed to establish a research institute at Hobcaw Barony.
© J. Granita Photography