Slave Cabins on Ossabaw Island

On my book research trip to Savannah in October, I spent a day on a magnificent barrier island called Ossabaw Island.  It is reachable only by boat and has a history that stretches back to when the Spaniards arrived, leaving behind heritage breeds of burros and pigs whose descendants still graze in the marshes.

But I digress.

Starting in the late 1700′s, rice plantations were established on Ossabaw. Today, the plantations no longer exist, but thanks to restoration efforts, it’s possible to see what the slave cabins looked like.

The cabins were built of tabby, a mixture of oyster shells and lime.

These were of interest to me because the story I am co-writing at the moment takes place in Savannah in the early 1800′s and features several slaves as well as plantation owners.

Oh, and did I mention it has a ghost?


Ghosts were called “haints.”

"Haint blue" paint covered the interior walls to protect the inhabitants against ghosts or haints.

The door frames were covered in “haint blue” as well.





One can still find many homes in Historic Savannah that use “haint blue.”

Here’s one of the most haunted little houses in Savannah:

They say that the woman who once lived here, a "root doctor," still haunts the place.

About Page McBrier

Page McBrier is the author of 43 books for young readers, including the award-winning picture book, Beatrice's Goat. Her work in the schools as a teaching artist keeps her close to her readers and inspires her to write stories that bring the world near.
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