Several months ago I received and e-mail from Kes Crumpler. Kes is with the Lake Murray Power Squadron, and asked if I’d be willing to give a talk to their group about ghost towns under South Carolina’s lakes. Since I’m no stranger to public speaking, I said, “Sure!” Although I was completely unsure as to what a “power squadron” was.
The Lake Murray Power Squadron is a boating group based in Lexington. Their goal is to “promote recreational boating safety through education and civic activities.” According to Kes, many of their group had questions about what had been under their boats as they enjoyed the lake.
The topic was right in line with my current research, and it would give me a chance to test drive some of my ghost town stories with a live audience. So, over the past several weeks I pulled together my current research and put together a presentation.
The date arrived, and I headed down to Lexington. The meeting was held in the Lexington Town Hall. I met our hosts, Kes, and Jerry Wise, and I got set up with my gear. About 40 members of the group arrived for the meeting, which started with an excellent mill catered by the Old Mill Brewpub in Lexington.
I started with a clip from the movie Deliverance. In this scene Ed (Jon Voight) and Bobby (Ned Beatty) are riding through the town of Aintry. Their driver describes the town, and the fact that all of it will be underwater soon. “Best thing that ever happened to this town.” Then I open with the line that there are no “Aintry”‘s in South Carolina.
I covered six underwater ghost towns – Vienna under Clark Hill Lake, Andersonville under Lake Hartwell, Ferguson under Lake Marion, Merrittsville under Poinsett Reservoir, Jocassee under Lake Jocassee, and Countsville under Lake Murray. I wrapped up with a survey of how cemeteries and graves are handled differently for the various lakes in the states.
The entire presentation is embedded below as a PDF file, or you can download it here.
The response was very good, and I had some great conversations. I especially enjoyed hearing other personal stories about the lakes these boaters travel. They all had lots of further questions, and I promised to share the resources I had available. So, as promised, here’s a link to all of the resources I used in Google Doc format. Those are also embedded below:
It was a great evening, and I enjoyed meeting Kes, Jerry, and the rest of the Lake Murray Power Squadron.