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Belton in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Belton Depot

 
 
Belton Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
1. Belton Depot Marker
Inscription.
Replacing the wooden structure located across the street that had served the Belton Community since 1853, the brick Southern & Blue Ridge Combined Railway Depot was designed in 1907 and completed by 1910. In the heyday of passenger and freight train use around 1914, there were 85 trains or trolleys making stops in Belton. Passenger trains were discontinued in 1961 and today only one freight train, owned by the Pickens Railway Company, travels past the Depot.

The Depot building has seen two renovations, one from 1980-1983, funded by concerned citizens and local businesses, and the other from 2005-2006, funded through grants from the South Carolina Highway Commission (ANATS) and Anderson County. The Depot was completely upgraded and rehabilitated and dedicated to the community in October 2006. The historic Belton Train Depot now houses the Ruth Drake Museum, the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, a performance and meeting venue, and an exhibition gallery with coffee shop.

[Left Column]:
Anderson County Council
2005-2006

Larry E. Greer - Chairman - District 3
Bill McAbee - Vice Chairman - District 4
Michael G. Thompson - District 5
G. Fred Tolly, Jr. - District 1
Gracie S. Floyd - District 2
William C. Dees - District 6
M. Cindy Wilson
Belton Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
2. Belton Depot Marker
- District 7
Joey R. Preston - County Administrator

Anderson County Legislative Delegation
Senator William H. O'Dell, S.C. Senate District #4
Representative Ronald P. Townsend, S.C. House District #7

Anderson County
Robert Carroll - Central Services Director
Bill Lloyd - Project Engineer

Architect
Craig, Gaulden & Davis
F. Earle Gaulden, FAIA

Contractor
C&G Builders
Tom & Jo'n Stansell

SCDOT
Marion P. Cornell, Commissioner, 3rd Congressional District

[Right Column]:
City of Belton
2005-2006

Rufus Callahan - Mayor
Jean C. Martin - Ward 1
Hattie S. Green - Ward 2
Marion Nickles, Jr. - Ward 3
Wallace Shaw - Ward 5
Jimmy Milford - Ward 6
David Watson - City Administrator

Belton Area Partnership
Lee Harris, Director
Homer Booth, Henry Clinkscales, Mitchell Cole
James G. Culwell, David Jones

Belton Area Museum Association
2005-2006

Alison Darby - President
Jon Wiley - Vice President
Linda Bradshaw - Secretary
Nancy Page - Treasurer
James Ballard, Jay Blake, Margaret A. Cole
Dick Gaillard, Joe Greer, Roy Mac Haggard
John LeHeup, Jim Marshall, Charles Martin
Benson Mattison,
Southern & Blue Ridge Railway<br>Combined Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
3. Southern & Blue Ridge Railway
Combined Depot Marker
Circa 1910
Restored 1978-1983
Restoration guided by a citizens committee

Charles W. Martin, Chairman
Thomas J. Burriss, Jimsie Hart
Charles W. Clinkscales, Mary Hester
Yvonne B. Fleming, James W. Marshall, Jr.
R.C. Gaillard, Jr., Max C. Williams
Listed on the National Register
of Historic Places
Ernest Mattison, Lucille Mattison
Allen Motes

Pickens Railway Company
Nancy Johnson

 
Location. 34° 31.35′ N, 82° 29.633′ W. Marker is in Belton, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street (U.S. 76) and South Carolina Highway 247, on the right when traveling south on North Main Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 North Main Street, Belton SC 29627, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Greenville & Columbia RR / Belton (within shouting distance of this marker); Belton / Historic Belton (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Belton Standpipe (about 700 feet away); Belton Academy / Central School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chamberlain-Kay House (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Baptist Church of Belton (approx. 0.3 miles away); Belton Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Rocky River Baptist Association Headquarters (approx. 1.5 miles away); Dorchester Baptist Church World War II Veterans Plaque (approx. 2.2 miles away); Cooley's Bridge (approx. 5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Belton.
 
Also see . . .
1. Belton Area Museum Association. The Belton
Southern & Blue Ridge Railway<br>Combined Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
4. Southern & Blue Ridge Railway
Combined Depot Marker
Area Museum Association's purpose is to collect, exhibit, preserve, and interpret the artifacts, sites, antiquities, and genealogical, archival, cultural, and natural history of Belton, SC, Anderson, SC, and the State of South Carolina. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Belton Depot. The Belton Depot is significant for its historical association with the railroad’s role in the development of Belton. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Belton, South Carolina. Belton is a city in eastern Anderson County, South Carolina, United States. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. City of Belton, SC. Official website of the City of Belton. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Blue Ridge Railway (1901). The Blue Ridge Railway was a 19th century railroad in the U.S. state of South Carolina. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Southern Railway (U.S.). The Southern Railway (reporting mark SOU) is a former United States railroad. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

7. Pickens Railway Company. Pickens Railway Company is a privately owned shortline railroad serving the Upstate of South Carolina in Pickens
Belton Depot -<br>Front (East) Facade image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
5. Belton Depot -
Front (East) Facade
and Anderson counties. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

8. South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. The South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, located in the newly renovated (2007) and air-conditioned historic Belton Depot on Main Street in Belton, is one of the finest sports museums in the country. (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

9. Group Seeking Money for Historic Marker at Belton Train Depot. The Belton Train Depot has been around for 100 years and officials are just now getting around to marking the spot. (Submitted on October 6, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Belton Depot
This one-story brick depot, constructed ca. 1910, remains the focal point in downtown Belton, South Carolina. Situated on the west side of the Belton Public Square, the Belton Depot was built by the Southern Railway to replace earlier station facilities housed in several small buildings. The original plans credit the design to the company's Office of Chief Engineer in Washington; however, the specific architect remains unknown.

Exterior
Rectangular in plan (approximately 43' by 179'), this structure features a prominent tin shingle hip roof with 7' flared eaves supported
Belton Depot image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
6. Belton Depot
by 36 massive wooden diagonal brackets. The section housing the freight area is topped by a lower profile hip roof. Brick walls are laid in common bond with string courses and segmented arch window and door openings. The front (east) facade contains a bay on the lower level in which the telegraph and dispatcher's office was located. Directly above the bay is a tower containing three pivoting windows with diamond-shaped panes and metal, ornamental finial atop its tent roof. There are two interior chimney stacks, one piercing the crest of the roof and the other piercing the south slope of the roof.

Opening onto the exterior are three double doors and five single doors. Two of the double doors feature diamond-shaped panes in transom with one double door having a wooden transom. The upper section of all double doors contains diamond-shaped panes with lower section featuring two triangular-shaped panels to each door. Above all of the single doors are transoms with diamond-shaped panes. Three of the single doors feature five rectangular panels; two of the single doors feature diamond-shaped glass panes in their upper section with two rectangular panels in lower section. Access to the freight room is provided by ten wooden double-sliding doors. There are thirteen windows in all, with eleven featuring diamond-shaped panes on the upper sashes and two panes below. The remaining
Belton Depot -<br>North Side image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
7. Belton Depot -
North Side
two windows are in a narrow rectangular form with diamond-shaped panes.

Interior
The Belton Depot was designed for a combination of passenger, office and freight storage uses. Two independent waiting rooms and toilets, the office area, express room, and baggage room comprise the 66' southern section. The office area and waiting rooms have high, narrow-beaded wainscotting with chair rail and wide baseboard. The office has a separate ticket window to each waiting room. The express room's north and south walls are made of wide, vertical boards the front (east) and rear (west) walls are constructed of brick. The baggage room, which comprises the entire 113' northern section, features brick walls. Wide board floors are used in the freight, baggage, and express rooms; the office area and waiting rooms have narrow board floors.

The Belton Depot appears to be virtually unaltered from the original plans except for the removal in the late 1950s of all but a small section of the front (east) facade of an 8' wide platform originally surrounding the freight room and extending northward 100 feet.

Significance
The Belton Depot is significant for its historical association with the railroad's role in the development of Belton. A focal point of downtown Belton, it virtually defines the west side of the public square. The Belton Depot is also architecturally
Belton Depot -<br>Northeast Corner image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
8. Belton Depot -
Northeast Corner
significant as an example of the prevailing turn of the century genre for Depot design.

The railroad played a principle part in the development of Belton, which was incorporated in December of 1855. A combination of geographical location and economic factors in 1849 led surveyors for the new Greenville and Columbia Railroad to place a rail junction near the area which was to develop into the City of Belton. The route traversed the property of Dr. George Brown who, sensing the importance of the rail junction on his property, set about surveying a village and selling lots at a public auction. He deeded a plot to the railroad for a depot, the first being a small, wooden frame building constructed in 1852. The railroad was completed and the first train came through Belton in 1853.

A 1911 advertising publication for Belton contains photographs of the present depot constructed circa 1910 and states of the railroad facilities:

"There is no city of town in South Carolina that has better railroad facilities than has Belton. Belton is the junctional point for the Southern Railway, C&G Division, and the Blue Ridge Railway...There are now 68 different trains and trolleys on which one may get into and out of Belton every day."

(In January of 1872, the Greenville and Columbia Railroad became part of the South Carolina Railroad System; this in turn became the
Belton Depot -<br>Eastern Walkway, Restored image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
9. Belton Depot -
Eastern Walkway, Restored
Southern Railway in 1902.)

In the early 1960s passenger service and less-than-carload freight shipments were discontinued in Belton, and the depot was eventually abandoned. The City recently acquired the depot and a perpetual lease on the property where it is located from the Southern Railroad. A local effort is now underway to examine the feasibility of restoring the depot. The Belton Museum and Belton Library branch have made tentative plans to occupy the building.

Architecture
Important as a local landmark, the Belton Depot is significant as a good architectural example of turn of the century railroad station design. The design elements that contribute to the form are the conical tower and bay, flared eaves, diagonal brackets and diamond pattern shash detail.

The Belton Depot is a visual reminder of the railroad's role in the growth and development of the town of Belton, a rural farming community located in the upper section of South Carolina. The railroad facilities after 1853, in addition to providing passenger service, were the major means of shipping farm products and supplies into and out of Belton until the advent of motorized vehicular transportation. The present railroad depot, construction ca. 1910, provided facilities for the textile industries which were located in and near Belton in the early part of the 20th Century. The Belton
Belton Depot -<br>Southeast Corner image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
10. Belton Depot -
Southeast Corner
Depot remains a significant local landmark due to its historical association with the railroad's role in providing services to the farming and textile interests of Belton. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted June 17, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. National Register of Historic Places
Belton Depot (added 1979 - Building - #79002373) • Also known as Southern Railway Combined Depot
Public Sq, Belton •
Historic Significance: Event, •
Architecture/Engineering Architect, builder, or engineer: Southern Railroad •
Architectural Style: Queen Anne, Romanesque •
Area of Significance: Transportation, Architecture •
Period of Significance: 1900-1924 •
Owner: Local Gov't •
Historic Function: Transportation •
    — Submitted January 5, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Notable BuildingsRailroads & StreetcarsSports
 
Belton Depot -<br>South Side image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
11. Belton Depot -
South Side
Ruth Drake Museum Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
12. Ruth Drake Museum Entrance
The inscription on the stone marker between the two doors reads:
This property
has been placed on the
National Register
of Historic Places

by the United States
Department of the Interior
Belton Depot Spire image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
13. Belton Depot Spire
Ruth Drake Museum image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 27, 2010
14. Ruth Drake Museum
Belton Depot image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, circa 1909
15. Belton Depot
Belton Depot image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, circa 1915
16. Belton Depot
Belton Depot image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, circa 1915
17. Belton Depot
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,789 times since then and 108 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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