Latitude / Longitude:
33° 11′ 56 N, 81° 45′ 21 W
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Ellenton was a town that was on the border between Barnwell and Aiken counties, South Carolina, United States. Settled circa 1870, it was the site in September 1876 of a violent attack against blacks over several days by white militia, resulting in the death of at least 35 blacks and likely as many as 100, part of efforts to intimidate blacks by violence prior to the fall elections to suppress their voting.
In 1950 the town was acquired by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission as part of a site for development of the Savannah River Plant, a nuclear plant. All the residences and businesses were acquired, and a new town, New Ellenton, was built. The plant was between the current CSX railroad and the current SC Highway 125, Upper Three Runs Creek, and Four Mile Branch. SC Highway 125 was U.S. Highway 278 in the 1950s.
New Ellenton was developed to replace Ellenton. An annual reunion of former Ellenton residents started in 1973 and continues today.
The town of Ellenton was incorporated in 1880. For most of its years, it was an agricultural, trading, and sawmill town. It declined through the downturn of cotton prices after World War I and the Depression of the 1930s. By the early 1950s, Ellenton had a population of about 760, about 190 residences, about 30 commercial buildings, five churches, two schools including Ellenton High School, one cotton gin, a city hall and jail, and the railroad station.