Roundup of Families of the Congaree River, SC

Roundup of Families of the Congaree River, SC

From Sheila Kimble

The Congaree/Wateree Rivers of S.C were named after the indigenous tribes of the area that were displaced by Colonist. Enslaved Africans brought to the area created thriving families our goal is to unite these families.

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HELLO Family & Friends,

We are trying to reach as many of the Descendants of Families of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers as possible. We also hope to reach those that have shown interest in our organization. The Congaree Cypress Group of SC is a Non-Profit (501(c)3), that serves as a link to unite families, close generational gaps and preserve our culture, traditions and natural resources pass down to us from our ancestors.

 Our Values

The Congaree Cypress Group supporters help us to share the footprints left by our ancestors while making a cultural, genealogical and spiritual connection to others. We know that protecting the human part of humanity can only be done when we can live together in harmony. We can build this unity by learning from the past and sharing for the future. This will help us, and our children define our existence.

Our History

This is where our story begins... 

Resource extraction on the Congaree River centered on cypress logging from 1898, when the Santee River Cypress Logging Company began to operate in the area of what is now the park. Owned by Francis Beidler and Benjamin F. Ferguson of Chicago, the company operated until 1914; subsequently, Beidler and his heirs retained ownership of the area. As a result of this advocacy a 1963 study by the National Park Service reported favorably on the establishment of a national monument.

The Wateree River, about 75 mi long, is a tributary of the Santee River in central South Carolina in the United States, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean. Its name recalls the now-extinct Wateree Native Americans, who lived in the area until displaced by European settlers.

Some of the Plantations located near the Congaree/Wateree rivers and  Atlantic Coast Line Railroad were Bellaire Plantation, Elm Savannah, Deer Pond, Woodard, Scott, Stoney Hill and Pea Ridge Plantations. Enslaved Africans also had connections to other plantations in the area.

Our Vision

In our first year, we accomplished a great deal. We created an extensive archive. Also, on February 17, 2018 we sponsored our first Family Roundup Reunion and Black History Event at the Congaree National Park. This event served as a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to the community and we meet new family members. We had more than ninety-five attendees. Our talented group of family members worked together and pulled off an event worthy of the history books. Unfortunately, demographics and the season hindered some from participating. Hopefully, our February 15, 2020 event will have twice the number of attendees.

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