Ellenton was established as a town about 1870. The area grew and prospered. In 1880, the town was incorporated. The town began to decline in the 1930s and by 1950 there were only about 760 residents remaining. However, with the advent of the nuclear age, the government decided it would need 300 acres along the Savannah River for a nuclear site and the towns of Ellenton, Dunbarton and Meyers Mill were evacuated, residents, building, graveyards and all (what wasn't removed was leveled) to new sites.
Dunbarton was established about 1899 in Barnwell County as an agricultural town, sawmill and trading center on the railroad. At the time of the removal, there were about 300 residents, two schools, a church, and 15 commercial buildings.
Meyers Mill was an unincorporated town in Barnwell County established in the late 19th Century. It was named for the Meyers family. It had flourished around the turn of the century when it added a train stop. In 1940s fire destroyed much of the town and by 1950, there were only about 50 people. Hawthorne, Robbins and Leigh were also unincorporated farming communities.
Six thousand residents were moved, selling 210 thousand acres and three towns for $19 million. Many of the residents were disgruntled about this, because fair market value of the timber was about $28 million, not including the land.
In 1953, DuPont opened up the first plant and hired 24,000 employees. Although the residents miss their homes, the job opportunities have been welcome.
The residents of Ellenton were moved to New Ellenton. New Ellenton has never thrived as its predecessor did. At present there is just a highway bisecting a few stores and a mall.