Savannah River Site

[Train Whistle] Nuclear weapons in the Cold War became a part of Augusta life on November 28, 1950, with the announcement of the construction of the Savannah River Plant in nearby Aiken, Allendale, and Barnwell counties. The creation of the site, though creating numerous jobs, displaced the predominately Black citizens of nearby Ellenton and Dumbarton.  Earlier that year, the Atomic Energy Commission selected E. I. DuPont de Nemours to design, build, and operate a facility to manufacture heavy water nuclear reactors. Within two years, over 38,000 engineers and construction employees were working at the 315-square-mile complex. The plant’s first nuclear reactor became operational in October 1952. The first shipment of plutonium occurred one year later. Infrastructures from Augusta to Aiken felt the demands, business startups skyrocketed. This economic boom is attributed to the area’s mild climate. cheap electricity, and non-union labor. In addition to military industries, the region also became home to the production of medical supplies, chemicals, textiles, and golf cars. [Train Whistle]

Augusta's Story
  1. Paleo-Indians
  2. Stallings Island
  3. The Age of Exploration: The DeSoto Exhibition; 1540
  4. Early Colonial Period; 1685 – 1736
  5. Late Colonial Period
  6. The American Revolution, 1776 - 1783
  7. Antebellum Society
  8. Dave: Enslaved Potter and Poet
  9. Cotton
  10. Civil War; 1861 - 1865
  11. Reconstruction
  12. The Golden Blocks
  13. The Augusta Canal and the Cotton Industry
  14. Petersburg Boat
  15. Industrial History
  16. Mill Life
  17. World War I
  18. The Great Fire of 1916
  19. 1920s
  20. World War II
  21. Savannah River Site
  22. Integrating Augusta
  23. The Augusta Riot
  24. 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s in Augusta
  25. Augusta and the Late 20th Century to Today
  26. Thank you to our partners