A. Roots in the River: The Story of Congaree National Park

The story of South Carolina’s only national park, from the initial attempts to harvest the forest’s massive virgin cypresses in the 1890s, through the grass-roots struggles of the 1970s to preserve it, to its classification as a National Park in 2003. The program also looks at the cultural history of Congaree and its uses by the historic African American communities neighboring the park.

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Roots in the River, Part 1 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 1 | Carolina Stories

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Carolina Stories - Roots in the River: The Story of Congaree National Park, Part 1 This segment sets the context for the story, which resulted in the Congaree Swamp's preservation as a National Park...
Roots in the River, Part 2 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 2 | Carolina Stories

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Bottomland hardwood forests once spread out along the banks of all Southern floodplain rivers, covering 15 million acres. Today, all the great Southern river-bottom forests have been cleared or...
Roots in the River, Part 3 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 3 | Carolina Stories

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The Congaree land was leased to a well-known nature writer, Harry Hampton, and his brothers for a hunt club. But Harry, who served as associate editor of The State Newspaper for many years, was more...
Roots in the River, Part 4 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 4 | Carolina Stories

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In 1970, the environmental movement was just beginning, and the country's youth were taking up the cause. In Columbia, a group of young people began listening to Harry Hampton, building up the the...
Roots in the River, Part 5 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 5 | Carolina Stories

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By 1975, public sentiment in favor of protecting the forest was growing, and the issue was gaining media attention. In June 1975, Gov. James B. Edwards took a stand against the land being condemned...
Roots in the River, Part 6 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 6 | Carolina Stories

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When a group of kids came on a school bus to tour the Swamp, Frank Beidler was touched, and the Beidlers expressed a willingness to sell the property. But the Senators couldn't agree. The Legislative...
Roots in the River, Part 7 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 7 | Carolina Stories

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In 2003, the Congaree became the nation's 57th national park, the only one in South Carolina. The visitor's center is named for Harry Hampton, who died in 1980. It has been declared an international...
Roots in the River, Part 8 | Carolina Stories
Roots in the River, Part 8 | Carolina Stories

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The Congaree Land Trust helps to preserve the land surrounding the park and its neighboring rivers, the Congaree, the Wateree and the Santee Within this huge river system known as the Cowasee Basin...