"N" is for New Ellenton

Sep 7, 2020

Credit SC Public Radio

"N" is for New Ellenton [Aiken County; population 2,250]. Initially called North Ellenton prior to its incorporation, New Ellenton was an offspring of the Cold War and considered by many locals to have been "the first victim of the H-bomb." Incorporated in 1952, the town was the reincarnation of the town of Ellenton—a depot on the Port Royal Railroad. Gradually the little community became a thriving farm market town whose quiet existence ended when the US Atomic Energy Commission announced it was going to build a massive nuclear weapons facility in Aiken and Barnwell Counties—the Savannah River Site. All residents were forced to leave their homes and a number of them moved to a two hundred acre development near the main entrance to the "bomb plant" that became the town of New Ellenton.