If you've lived in central South Carolina most of your life, you may have heard of Lake Marion.
It is the largest lake in South Carolina with a 315-mile shoreline that covers over 110,000 acres of former marshes, rolling farmlands, and river valleys. It is a beautiful place to spend some time outside however, the history behind its construction is rather dark and tragic. Keep reading to learn more.
Hiding underneath those waters is a long abandoned town known as Ferguson.
This community was a former company town owned by lumbermen from Chicago. The firm controlled 165,000 acres of land and focused on harvesting bald cypress timber.
Operations were highly profitable throughout much of the 1800s. Soon, the town was a fully functioning village complete with paved streets, indoor plumbing, street lighting with coal gas, and a post office.
Despite this, tensions quickly rose when the 350 workers employed by the lumber company found out they were being paid in fraudulent currency. These company coins were marked Santee Mercantile Co. and could only be used in the town of Ferguson, they were not transferable to cents and dollars.
The company was forced to cease operations in 1915 and soon, the once-thriving town of Ferguson became vacant.
Twenty years later, the Santee Cooper Power and navigation Project began which included the construction of a dam to form Lake Marion. Once the lake was filled in with water the town of Ferguson was drowned underneath and is now wiped off the map completely.
Back in 2010, a severe drought caused lake water levels to drop. Because of this, many old artifacts from the town of Ferguson were exposed including an old kiln building on the north side of the island.
A somber reminder of a town that was once full of life and memories that are now long-forgotten since being submerged underwater.
To learn more about the underwater town of Ferguson and see what artifacts were uncovered during the drought, be sure to check out this fascinating video uploaded to YouTube in 2017.
Did you know about the abandoned underwater town of Ferguson? Have you ever been to Lake Marion? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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