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Mitigation

Adverse effects to historic properties may be unavoidable to complete a project. In reaching decisions about appropriate mitigation, federal and state agencies should weigh a variety of factors, including the significance of the historic property, its value and to whom, associated costs, and project schedules. Data recovery and recordation are some methods for mitigating adverse effects. The SHPO encourages federal and state agencies to think creatively when mitigating adverse effects and to consider the public benefit when designing mitigation. The public may derive greater benefit from mitigation that involves a combination of components, such as data recovery, documentation, exhibits on excavation, brochures, public field days, site tours, public lectures, websites, documentary videos, and modules for use in schools. Web-based or web-appropriate mitigation projects are encouraged.

Recent examples of mitigation in South Carolina include:

Padgett House, Edgefield County:  As part of the mitigation efforts for adverse effects to the National Register eligible Padgett House resulting from the US Highway 25 (US 25) widening project in Edgefield County, SC Department of Transportation (DOT) created the Drive US 25 brochure (PDF). This brochure highlights 18 key historic sites on or near US 25 in Edgefield County. An accompanying map directs motorists to the site locations. Hard copies of this brochure have been delivered to Edgefield County for distribution via various government offices and civic organizations that focus on promoting local history and heritage tourism.

Dovedale Plantation, Darlington County:  The SC Department of Transportation (DOT) widened US Highway 52 through a portion of Darlington County. The highway widening project encroached on some of the historic landscaping of Dove Dale, a plantation listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As mitigation for the adverse effects to Dovedale's landscape, the DOT funded a preservation plan (PDF) for the property. This plan documents the existing conditions of the house and landscape and identifies maintenance and treatment procedures.

Battery White, Georgetown County:  This important Civil War earthwork was affected by the expansion of the Belle Isle Yacht Club. The Club needed a land disturbance permit from DHEC-OCRM. To mitigate effects to Battery White, Belle Isle Yacht Club developed an online exhibit on the history of the battery, donated a preservation easement for the battery to the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, and permitted public access to the battery.

Florence National Cemetery, Florence County:  When the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration (NCA) wanted to expand its cemetery, the NCA conducted an archaeological survey of the expansion area. Two sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Florence National Cemetery and the Florence Stockade, are adjacent to the cemetery expansion. The archaeological survey found significant deposits related to The Stockade in the expansion area. Mitigation of the archaeological site included extensive data recovery (PDF, 9 MB), a brochure (PDF) on the Stockade and archaeology, a Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan (PDF), and the reburial of human remains.

St. Matthews Railroad Cut, Calhoun County:  The SC Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed improvements to U.S. Highway 601 through St. Matthews. As part of the improvements, the DOT proposed to place concrete and structural block on the c. 1840 South Carolina Railroad Company cut. Consultation determined that the railroad cut, which was excavated and created by the railroad’s slaves, was eligible for listing in the National Register. Mitigation for this highway project included large-format photography of the cut, the development of a historic context (PDF, 2 MB) on slavery and railroad construction, and a brochure (PDF) that describes the railroad cut and industrial slavery.

Southern Appalachian Farmstead, Oconee County:  The Russell Farmstead is located within the boundaries of the Sumter National Forest in the Andrew Pickens Ranger District. The Oconee Heritage Center applied to the U.S. Forest Service for a permit to establish a living history site on land that encompasses the Russell Farmstead and the site of a historic Cherokee town. On the recommendation of the SHPO, Oconee Heritage Center developed and implemented a Historic Properties Management Plan (PDF, 8.8 MB) to manage the historic properties on the site and avoid adverse effects.

Saluda Hydroelectric Project, Richland, Saluda, Lexington, Newberry, and Union Counties:  South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a new license to operate its hydroelectric plant on Lake Murray. As part of the Section 106 consultation process, SCE&G worked with the SHPO, FERC, Catawba Indian Nation, and other interested parties to identify historic properties in the project area. Consultation led to a year-long excavation of the Tree House Site, one of the oldest human occupations in the Southeast, a permanent exhibit at Saluda Shoals Park, and an online booklet on the history of Lake Murray Dam and the Tree House Site ("Documenting 13,000 Years of Human Occupation Along the Saluda River").
SCE&G also produced online booklets for two earlier hydroelectric projects at Stevens Creek ("Stevens Creek Hydroelectric Project: Significant Historic and Archaeological Resources") and Neal Shoals ("Neal Shoals Hydroelectric Project: Significant Historic and Archaeological Resources") (multiple counties). Archaeological investigations conducted within the FERC relicensing project area of these two SCE&G facilities resulted in the recording of numerous prehistoric and historic sites which provide valuable information about past lifeways.

Inland Rice Fields, Charleston County:  The SC Department of Transportation and Charleston County’s RoadWise program identified several historic inland rice fields during road planning in Charleston County. These inland rice fields date back to the early eighteenth century and reflect the beginnings of South Carolina’s profitable rice plantations. Mitigation for impacts to these inland rice fields include professional photography, the development of a historic context/Multiple Property Submission (PDF, 9.4 MB) for inland rice fields, lectures at local libraries and historical sites, an informative website, and the production of several YouTube videos on the inland rice fields (Show 24, RoadWise Preserves History: Inland Rice Fields: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).

Coosaw Rivers Estates Tract, Ladys Island, Beaufort County U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DHEC-OCRM permitting for a proposed residential development at the Coosaw River Estates tract required archaeological and historical investigations. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) developed to resolve adverse effects included a public education component brochure (PDF) for the tract that detailed the information gathered from historic documents with the artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations.