Saturday, May 30, 2015

The ribbon-cutting celebration on May 12th signaled the opening of the Ellenton Heritage Trail on the Savannah River Site.  The SRS Heritage Foundation will conduct guided public tours of the Trail in accordance with a real estate agreement between the Foundation and the Department of Energy. 
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by about 40 guests including Dr. David Moody of the Department of Energy and Carol Johnson of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.  Guests were treated to a van tour of the site of the former business community of the town of Ellenton.  The US Forest Service had cleaned the streets and walkways to facilitate the tour.    George Wingard of the Savannah River Archeological Research Program described locations of homes and businesses and showed photographs along the tour route.  Although no buildings remain standing, visitors were able to visualize the scope and harmony of the former community and understand the sacrifices of residents who were displaced to make room for the Savannah River Project.   
The Heritage Foundation is developing plans for the first public tours.  Tour attendees must be US citizens older than 16 with social security numbers and other forms of identification.  Initial tours will leave from the SRS Museum in Aiken, although subsequent tours may utilize other departure points.  Final arrangements and dates for the public tours will be announced in the near future.