SC History Trail

Hobcaw Barony

The 20th-century hunting preserve of Wall Street financier Bernard Baruch, Hobcaw Barony is now a nature preserve and a center for marine science research.

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Hobcaw Barony
22 Hobcaw Road, Georgetown, SC 29440
Map: View Map and Directions
Web Site:
Phone: 843-546-4623
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Site Description
The site of several 18th and 19th century rice plantations, Hobcaw Barony is best known as the 20th-century hunting preserve of Wall Street financier and presidential adviser Bernarch Baruch. The son of a Confederate surgeon, Bernard Baruch was born in Camden in 1870 and moved with his family to New York City as a boy. As a Wall Street investor, he acquired immense wealth and became a financial adviser to numerous presidents, including Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Always mindful of his roots in South Carolina, he quietly acquired 17,000 acres of former rice plantations on the southern tip of Waccamaw Neck, north of Georgetown. There he established a personal retreat and hunting preserve that he named Hobcaw Barony and entertained numerous political, military, literary and entertainment figures. Among those who were Baruch's guests at Hobcaw Barony were Prime Minister Winston Churchill, General George C. Marshall and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Baruch hosted his visitors with duck, turkey and deer hunting, and entertained them at a spacious, brick, hunting lodge that overlooked Winyah Bay. FDR visited Hobcaw in 1944, during the last year of his life - a visit that may have extended his life during World War II.

Hobcaw Barony was sold to Bernard Baruch's daughter, Belle Baruch, who lived there until her death. She arranged for a trust and foundation to operate the property as a college-level research facility in forestry, wildlife and marine science. Swamps, abandoned rice fields, pine and hardwood forests, salt marsh and barrier island environments exist as outdoor classrooms for college students and the general public. Some historians believe the failed 1526 Spanish colony of San Miguel de Gualdape was located at this site, but evidence to date is inconclusive. Historic sites at Hobcaw include Baruch's hunting lodge and retreat - Hobcaw House - overlooking Winyah Bay, Bellefield House built in 1936 for Baruch's daughter Belle, Friendfield Village - a 19th-century slave village used until 1952, and a small, Confederate, earthen artillery battery across Winyah Bay from Belle Isle.
Access and Admission
Site Access: By Appointment
Access Description: Open Mon. through Fri. 9am-5pm, Scheduled Tours Tuesday through Friday
Average Viewing Time: 3 - 4 Hours
Admission: See Website for Various Tours and Programs
Ownership: Private
Tours and Events
Guided Tours: Yes
Group Tours Yes