The people of Ellenton learned in the early 1950's that their town would be uprooted by the United States Government. 200,000 acres of land was purchased for $19 million in Aiken and Barnwell counties for a massive nuclear weapons complex. The site generated nuclear components for the hydrogen bomb. It was common to see homes, churches or stores traveling down the road on the back of trucks. In 1972, the town created the "Atomic City" Festival in remembrance of the 6000 people who were displaced in order to provide national security during the Cold War. The Aiken County Historical Museum has a permanent exhibit commemorating the event.

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