The SRARP has produced several videos that showcase archaeological and community research. Below are short clips from some of this work.
Catholic Hill, formerly known as Thompson’s Crossroads, is an area steeped in history. The predominant feature on the landscape is the 1935, gothic-revival inspired St. James the Greater Catholic Church and its recently renovated 1901 school house.
The first church on the spot was dedicated in 1832 and burned in 1856. Very little is known from that point until the 1890’s when it was learned that a group of former slaves and their descendants, with a vibrant and thriving faith, was worshipping in the area. Soon a new church and school was built. While mass was celebrated by itinerant priests twice a month at the church, the leadership flourished under the dedicated men and women of the church striving to preserve and strengthen the faith of the community on an everyday basis.
The present church, which was built in 1935, is home to a new generation of followers maintaining their strong Catholic Faith. Today’s congregation works tirelessly to preserve both the memory of those who came before them and safeguard the legacy for many generations to come.
This film focuses on the religion in South Carolina, early Catholicism, slavery, the history of St. James the Greater, and its importance to the Catholic Hill Community.
This film discuss the discovery of an alkaline-glazed stoneware vessel created by the enslaved potter Dave of Edgefield, South Carolina and discovered/excavated by the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP). It will also highlight its use assisting with public outreach and discussing the importance of archaeology. Mark Albertin of Scrapbook Video Productions (Augusta, Georgia) was the films co-producer. 47 minutes
Hawthorne was once a small community in Aiken County, South Carolina but with the construction of the Savannah River Site in 1950 it, and its handful of residents, had to be removed. Not as well known as the larger populated towns of Ellenton and Dunbarton, Hawthorne was just as impacted by the climate of the times - the need for the United States to enter the Cold War - and as the years passed Hawthorne and its story was lost.
In the mid-nineteen-nineties the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP) conducted an oral history survey with hundreds of the former residents of the Savannah River Site area and wrote about those results in the volumes “Memories of Home: Dunbarton and Meyers Mill Remembered” and “Memories of Home: Reminiscences of Ellenton” by Tonya Browder. The displacement of the communities was later discussed at length in the 2009 documentary film “Displaced: The Unexpected Fallout of the Cold War” by Mark Albertin.
The SRARP partnered with filmmaker Patrick Hayes for the making of this short film on the community of Hawthorne. Conducting interviews with two of its last residents and discussing how historical documents and the latest archaeological techniques will ensure the protection of the area, this documentary will draw the viewer into the very tumultuous time of this small community through documents, photos, and the memories of those who lived it. 27 minutes
This film discusses the transformation of the Leigh Banana Case Company commissary from a small company store to an icon in the community of Barnwell, South Carolina. Formerly located in the swamps of the Savannah River Site, the small store played a vital role in supporting the lumber mill and the Leigh community. The Commissary was relocated during the tumultuous period of the SRS's construction and has since been a mainstay in its current location. Through interviews with former LBCC workers, members of the Leigh community, historians, and the building's current owner, it is the hope the film will illustrate the importance of historic preservation and the need for saving our collective heritage. 27 minutes
In 2014, members of the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP) conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar and Archaeological Survey of the 18th century chapel located in Walterboro, South Carolina. This began our interest in this important low-country cultural and historic resource. Now the SRARP, the Colleton County Historical Society, Dr. Sarah Miller, and the University of South Carolina - Salkehatchie, are all collaborating on a documentary of Pos Pon Chapel which will discus its history, heritage tourism, and historic preservation. 37 minutes
This short film briefly discusses the coming of the Atomic Energy Commission to Barnwell County and the displacement of the town of Dunbarton and its three hundred residents. Place and memory are very important to those who have the chance to visit. The thoughts and memories captured of these two former residents are funny, engaging, and poignant. 15 minutes