North Augusta, South Carolina

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North Augusta is a city in Aiken County, South Carolina, United States, on the north bank of the Savannah River. The population was 17,574 at the 2000 census. The city is included in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) and is also part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area.

Contents

History

North Augusta is located on the fall line of the Savannah River, across from Augusta, Georgia. Three earlier towns have stood in the same general area. The English established a trading post known as Savannah Town over 300 years ago. This town was abandoned when Augusta, Georgia proved to be more prosperous and attractive to traders. Campbelltown was established as a trading point for tobacco and Indian traders over 200 years ago. Again, competition, sometimes violent opposition, from the Georgia side of the Savannah River, coupled with a recession in the tobacco market spelled the end of Campbelltown in the early 19th century.

With the explosion of the cotton economy, this area became an important market for the increasingly valuable produce of planters throughout upper Georgia and South Carolina. In 1821 the town of Hamburg was established by the mechanical genius and entrepreneur Henry Shultz in direct commercial competition with Augusta. In 1833 the South Carolina Rail Road was established, further connecting the cotton collected at Hamburg to the seaport of Charleston. The 1848 construction of the Augusta Canal channeled produce from upriver away from Hamburg. The final blow came when a bridge linked the South Carolina Rail Road to Augusta allowing traffic to bypass the doomed town of Hamburg. Henry Shultz died in poverty and reportedly is buried upright on the bluff overlooking Hamburg with his back to Augusta.

Avoiding the commercial pretensions of its predecessors, North Augusta was founded as a residential and resort town. Much of its development can be traced back to the establishment of the Hampton Terrace Hotel, built in 1902 by James U. Jackson on a hill overlooking the city of Augusta. At the time, the hotel was one of the largest and most luxurious in the nation, and it served many of the travelers who visited Augusta in the early part of the century. An interurban trolley line was constructed through the town with a terminus at the Hampton Terrace, dubbed the Augusta–Aiken Railway and Electric Corporation and later extended to Aiken. Trolley service ended around the time of the Great Depression. North Augusta was being considered as one of the two possible sites for Hollywood, and it was only because of the hotel burning down that California was selected, but this is all speculation. By the time the hotel burned down on New Year's Eve 1916, North Augusta was thriving and remains a major part of the Augusta metropolitan area today.

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