“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hardeeville in Jasper County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Rice Field Trunk

Rice Field Trunk Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 28, 2015
1. Rice Field Trunk Marker
Inscription. This water control structure is called a trunk. It is similar to trunks used to manage water flow to and from plantation rice fields. On Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, trunks are operated to set water levels in impoundments (reservoirs).

A trunk is a long wooden box with a heavy “flap gate” at either end. This dike crosses over the trunk. Only the gates and their support structures are visible. The gates facing the canal and the field are often kept closed.

To flood the nearby impounding: The trunk’s tide creek/canal side gate is raised. Raising tidewater flows through the trunk and forces open the opposite field-side gate, letting water into the impoundment. When the water reaches the preferred depth in the impoundment, the water pressure pushes the field-side door shut. Both gates are kept closed to hold water in the fields.

To drain the fields: The field-side gate is raised allowing water to drain out to the tidal creek/canal during low tide.
Erected by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.
Location. 32° 10.125′ N, 81° 6.792′ W. Marker is in Hardeeville, South Carolina, in Jasper County. Marker can be reached
Rice Field Trunk, c. 1840 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 28, 2015
2. Rice Field Trunk, c. 1840
Two slaves were needed to raise or lower the trunk gates. Today one refuge worker operates the gates mechanically.
from the intersection of Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive and Alligator Alley (South Carolina Highway 170). Click for map. Located in the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. Marker is in this post office area: Hardeeville SC 29927, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Managing Water for Wildlife (here, next to this marker); Prescribed Burning (here, next to this marker); Laurel Hill Plantation (approx. ¼ mile away); Using Fire to Benefit Wildlife (approx. ¼ mile away); Plantation Cistern (approx. one mile away); Atlantic Coastal Highway Through Georgia (approx. 2.6 miles away in Georgia); Battle Between Confederate Gunboats and Union Field Artillery (approx. 3.2 miles away in Georgia); Indian Trading Post: Home of Mary Musgrove (approx. 3.2 miles away in Georgia). Click for a list of all markers in Hardeeville.
Categories. AgricultureEnvironmentMan-Made Features
Gate kept closed- Dike -Trunk - Flap Gate image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 28, 2015
3. Gate kept closed- Dike -Trunk - Flap Gate
Managed Impoundment Tidal Creek Canal Hight Tide Low tide Flooding the Impoundment Managed Impoundment Tidal Creek/Canal High Tide Water Flow Draining the Impoundment Managed Impoundment Water flow Tidal Creek/Canal Low Tide
River Tides for Rice image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 28, 2015
4. River Tides for Rice
Savannah River rice planters used tidal power to supply water to their rice fields. Planters operated floodgates, called "trunks" to irrigate rice fields during high river tides and drain them when tides fell.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 174 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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