Submitted by FHMaster on Sun, 03/28/2021 - 20:38

General Information - 

  • Location - Lots 12, 13, 14,15 of Bayley’s Barony Lot #12 may be part of Muddy Creek)
  • Other names - Otter Hall, Otter Hole


  • Thomas Bull and Jeremiah Sayre, per 1783 Mosse Survey
  • James Stoney acquired  #13 and #14 from Benjamin Bayley 17 Feb 1795.
  • Sr. George Mosse Stoney, born 1795, inherited from his father.
  • Daughter Emma Stoney Stuart in 1854 inherited Otterburn.
  • Sea Island Co. bought from the Direct Tax Commission in 1866 for unpaid federal taxes.
  • The Sea Island Cotton Company sold it in 1888 to the United States Cotton Company which went bankrupt.
  • W. J. Verdier, Dec. 1, 1896.
  • Later sold to Francis E. Wilder, Feb. 1, 1896, (500 acres for $200).
  • W.L. Hurley purchased from Wilder June 1919 for $500 and the right to occupy dwelling for life.
  • Thorne and Loomis purchase as Otter Hole.

Land - 900 acres (400 arable, 500 timber)


    Hack, "Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, before 1861"
    Mosse, "Hilton Head  Island, 1783.  Lots 12-15"

Bibliography - 

    Holmgren, Hilton Head, A Sea Island Chronicle
    Holmgren, Research on Hilton Head Island
    Peeples, An Index to Hilton Head Island Names  

Additional Information:

Also known as Stuart's/Stewart's/Otterburn

Sometimes known as Otter Hall, this property originally belonged to the Stoney family.  It was on the northwest side of Broad Creek, between Gardner's and Muddy Creek Place.   

John Allan Stuart, editor of the Charleston Mercury during the fight for States Rights, lived in Beaufort for many years.   He purchased the property from John Stoney.  After confiscation by the Federal government the property was not redeemable by the prewar owners.  It was bought in wartime by The Sea Island Cotton Company, a group of property investors.   They in turn sold it to the United States Cotton Company in 1888.  In 1896 the firm went bankrupt and Otter Hole was bought by W.J. Verdier and later sold to Francis E. Wilder.   After selling it to W.L. Hurley, Wilder retained the right to occupy the house as long as he lived.  Hurley in turn sold the property to Thorne and Loomis.

  • Holmgren, Virginia C., Hilton Head, A Sea Island Chronicle, p. 131, 133

Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. George Mosse of Savannah, married James Stoney of 770 acre Otterburn Plantation...they had fifteen children, only two survived to maturity...Dr. George Mosse Stoney (1795) inherited Otterburn where he lived as planter and practiced medicine...Property remained in the family until confiscation in 1865.

  • Peeples, Tales of Ante Bellum Hilton Head Families, p. 4, 5

"The Hurleys moved in on a grand scale, with a yacht at anchor in Broad Creek and an automobile - ferried across with much excited interest - in a shed."

  • Holmgren, p. 120

Otter Hole was purchased by Lou Alfred, John S. Littell and John Caldwell for $1,025.

John (James ?) Stoney acquired lots #13 and 14 from Bayley's Baroney, about 422 acres, in the late 18th century.  The property was purchased about 1854, about the time of the death of Dr. George Mosse Stoney, by John Allan Stuart. The 1860 Agricultural Census shows Otter Hole being owned by Captain Middleton Stuart at the time of the Civil War.  It had 760 acres of land producing 24 bales of cotton. Captain Delany lists the owners of Otter Hole as the United States Cotton Company in 1867.  In 1897 the company failed and the land was sold by Masters of Equity to (page missing from survey).

  • Trinkley, Chicora Research Contribution 78, Archaeological Survey of a Portion of Indigo Run Plantation, Hilton Head Island

1860 census suggests that at the time of the Civil War, Otter Hole was owned by Captain Middleton Stuart.   The U.S. Cotton Company owned it in 1867; in 1897 it was sold to W.J. Verdier; same year it sold to F.E. Wilder who held it until 1919 when it sold to W.L. Hurley.

A 1920 map shows what seems to be a double row of old slave houses and several associated buildings at the end of a north south road.  "A 1927 newspaper article related the visit of B.F. Taylor to the rural, and isolated, island.  Taylor remarked that the Otter Hole property belonged to a 'Mr. Hurley' but the overseer was a 'Mr. Crowley'."

  • Chicora Research Contribution 76, Archaeological Survey of Portions of Indigo Run Plantation, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina, p. 13,14

The 900 acre plantation bearing the appellation of Otterburn, then Otter Hall and presently Otter Hole, was part of Bayley’s Barony, Lots 12-15 of the Mosse Survey which shows it as chiefly held by planters Thomas Bull and Jeremiah Sayre.  By 1793 when he married Elizabeth, sixteen year old daughter of Dr. George Mosse at her father’s home in Savannah, Otterburn was owned by James Stoney, son of Captain John Stoney.  Only two of their fifteen children survived to maturity, their son, Dr. George Mosse Stoney, born 1795, inheriting Otterburn which he planted while also practicing medicine on the island and in Beaufort where he built the large mansion which was known for years as the Sea Island Hotel.  After his death in 1854 his daughter Emma married Middleton Stuart in 1855 and inherited Otterburn.  The Direct Tax Commission sold it in 1865 for unpaid extortionate federal taxes; the Sea Island Cotton Company sold it in 1888 to the United States Cotton Company which went bankrupt in 1896 at which time W.J. Verdier bought it, later selling it to Thorne and Loomis as Otter Hole.

  • Peeples, An Index to Hilton Head Island Names (Before the Contemporary Development), p. 31


Hilton Head Island, South Carolina