Past meets present at Pinckney Retreat, a peaceful waterfront community at the site of an historic Lowcountry plantation. Originally named Retreat Plantation, this site sits on the banks of the great salt marsh where Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets and Ospreys patrol the waters.
Pinckney Retreat’s story is centuries old, a past as rich and fertile as the land itself. Near the bank sits the old Retreat Plantation home, a living monument to the story – one of love, war, survival and perseverance. Intended to last forever, the Tabby home was built in 1736 by dashing young French Huguenot, Jean de la Gaye, for his young bride Catherine Gautier. For the next 20 years, the happy couple enjoyed their home, entertaining each other nightly, she with her harp and he with his tales of the homeland.
After that, Retreat Plantation was owned by a series of legendary Lowcountry figures, including the Reverend Edward Tabb Walker, who built the framed Chapel of East on St. Helena Island. When the Civil War broke out, Reverend Walker fled with his wife and nine children to an area near Walterboro. One of Sherman’s soldiers discovered the Walker family bible hidden beneath the floorboards of the Retreat. Because it was the property of a minister, the hardened general decided not to burn the house and it remained unharmed.
Today the house remains in splendid condition with its 22-inch thick Tabby walls, original fireplaces, and rich hardwood planked floors. Built out of love by Jean de la Gaye to last forever, it’s hard to imagine the Lowcountry without this wonderful old home, a living testament to strength, endurance, and Southern tradition.