Chocolate is a collection of tabby ruins on Sapelo Island. Most of the structures are in a state of very bad disrepair except the restored barn and a privately-owned circa 1930s Sears Roebuck house overlooking the Mud River. The barn was restored in the 1920s and is falling to ruin, as well. The best description I’ve been able to find about the area is from archaeologists Ray Crook’s essay “The Living Space of Enslaved Geechee on Sapelo Island”, published in the March 2008 newsletter of the African Diaspora Archaeology Network: During the late 1790s, the Chocolate tract was farmed by Lewis Harrington with the labor of 68 slaves. In 1802 that property became jointly owned by Edward Swarbreck and Thomas Spalding, who leased out at least a portion of the tract until 1808. Swarbreck, a Danish sea merchant with Caribbean connections who traded in cotton and other commodities, including slaves, then directed his attention to Chocolate. His plantation layout followed a familiar and very formal design…. The Big House, built of tabby, overlooked the Mud River and expansive salt marshes. His residence was flanked by outbuildings and other support structures. Two parallel rows of slave quarters, spaced some 10m apart and separated by a broad open area 50m across, were constructed behind the Big House. Vast agricultural fields extended to the north and south. Evidence of at least nine slave quarters, typically tabby duplexes with central chimneys and finished tabby floors, each side measuring about 4.3m by 6.1m, survives today as ruins and archaeological features at Chocolate. These represent an enslaved population of some 70 to 100 people distributed among at least 18 households…
Mud River from Site of Chocolate Plantation
The barn was restored in the 1920s by automobile magnate Howard Coffin, who was the last owner of the area before Richard Reynolds.
West Front of Barn at Chocolate, Facing the Mud River
East Front of Barn at Chocolate
Above and Below: Interior of Barn at Chocolate
Unknown Outbuilding at Chocolate
Slave House and Plantation House Chimney Ruins at Chocolate
Ruins of Plantation House Chimney at Chocolate
Unknown Outbuilding at Chocolate (This is among the best preserved structures remaining on the site).
Slave House at Chocolate
Sears Roebuck House at Chocolate (This is a private residence and not open to the public).