Belle Baruch Institute for
South Carolina Studies
About the Institute
The Belle W. Baruch Institute for South Carolina Studies is a center for studies in the humanities, social sciences, behavioral sciences, and the arts, tapping the rich resources of a unique environment called Hobcaw Barony. Just across the river from Georgetown, South Carolina, the 16,000-acre property includes Native American shell middens, community and family cemeteries, state and national historic sites, and 33 extant buildings with dates ranging from the late 1800s to the present. Because the property has been protected from development by the Belle Baruch Foundation, as established in Belle Baruch’s will, it is an ideal location for primary research.
Belle Baruch’s Gift
Before her death in 1964, Belle Wilcox Baruch established a foundation trust in her will that would save 16,000 acres of woodlands, marshes, and coastline on the Waccamaw Neck, just across the river from Georgetown, South Carolina. Rather than allowing development on the property she loved, Belle’s foundation assured its preservation, offering it as a protected place for the colleges and universities of South Carolina to conduct environmental research and present related educational programs. In accord with Belle Baruch’s will, her foundation’s mission has been to preserve and manage the land, its estuaries, and its flora and fauna in perpetuity.
Although Belle Baruch’s primary concern was environmental conservation, her efforts to protect her beloved Hobcaw Barony served an additional purpose. When she saved the land in its natural state, she also inadvertently saved a significant portion of its history. Over 30 historic buildings still stand on her 16,000 acres and a significant undeveloped stretch of the colonial King’s Highway.
In 2011, the Belle W. Baruch Foundation extended its conservation mission to include history and culture. The timely mission change affords even more research and education at Hobcaw in the expansive fields of humanities, social sciences, behavioral sciences, and the arts.