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Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Railroad Comes To Charleston

 
 
The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, January 2011
1. The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker
Inscription. The first passenger railroad began operation in England in 1825. Word of this new kind of transportation quickly spread across the Atlantic. Charleston businessmen, suffering through a severe recession in the 1820s, were eager to explore this cheaper, faster, and safer way to move people and goods. In 1827, after six years of debate, the City of Charleston decided to build a railroad.

The South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company was incorporated on December 19, 1828. Its investors hoped to divert commercial traffic from Savannah to the Port of Charleston and provide a link to plantations and farms in the upstate. In 1829, William Howard, U.S. Civil Engineer, presented a report to the company detailing the best route for a line from Charleston to Hamburg (near Augusta). Howard felt that the ridge along the Edisto River from near Givhan's Ferry was a favorable location.

Howard recommended the tracks be made from wood, which he noted was available in abundance and in good quality along the route.The rails were to be made of yellow pine and placed 4 feet 6inches apart. They would be supported by sills made of live oak. The cost of building the railroad was estimated at $4,582.00 per mile. A total of 3,501 shares were sold in Charleston by March 17, 1828.

Construction of the railroad began on January 9, 1830. The
The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker image. Click for full size.
Source: Library of Congress
2. The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker
Excerpt of 1833 South Carolina transportation map showing 136 mile route of rail road from Charleston to Hamburg, built and operated by the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company Date 1833
entire 136 miles of track was completed by October, 1833. When the railroad opened, it was the longest line in the country and the first to carry the U.S. mail. The South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company was the predecessor line of the Southern Railway, now the Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

"In fact the general direction of this route, appeared to us to be so strongly marked in its superiority over any other, as to leave no doubt as to the propriety of its selection."
* William Howard, 1829 *
 
Location. 32° 47.335′ N, 79° 56.232′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker can be reached from John Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located between King and Meeting Streets in the Camden Depot Courtyard. Marker is in this post office area: Charleston SC 29403, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Building a Nation (here, next to this marker); The Best Friend of Charleston (here, next to this marker); Bound For Glory (a few steps from this marker); Passengers and Products (within shouting distance of this marker); Camden Depot (about 300 feet away, measured
Above is a view ot the original track uncovered unexpectedly in 1944. image. Click for full size.
By The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker
3. Above is a view ot the original track uncovered unexpectedly in 1944.
Below ia a stock certificate for the railway company.(Library of Congress)
in a direct line); William Aiken House (about 400 feet away); The Civil War Submarine, H.L. Hunley (about 500 feet away); The Charleston Museum's Joseph Manigault House (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Charleston.
 
Also see . . .  South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company. ... ran scheduled steam service over its 136-mile line .... (Submitted on January 31, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker, at distant right, in Camden Depot Courtyard image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, January 23, 2011
4. The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker, at distant right, in Camden Depot Courtyard
The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker, right image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, January 23, 2011
5. The Railroad Comes To Charleston Marker, right
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 394 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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