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Central in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose

 
 
Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Marsteller, November 7, 2021
1. Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose Marker
Inscription.  The car that traditionally signals the end of the train is fittingly displayed as a memorial to Central's railroad heritage. The Norfolk & Western caboose was donated by Norfolk Southern Railroad in 1988 thanks to then Mayor Al Cumbie and Norfolk Southern Railroad employee Charles Head. The caboose was displayed beside the main tracks at the 1988 Labor Day Railroad Festival. In 1990, through the efforts of the Railroad Festival Committee, Mayor Al Cumbie, Central Town Council and Norman Canoy, the caboose was situated at its present position near the baseball field.

The NKP 451-500, Class C7 cabooses were built by International Railway Car Company in Kenton, Ohio. The above caboose was built in August 1962 and reconditioned in April 1977. It went to the N&W in the 1964 merger and was renumbered to NW 557551 to 557600 in 1965, 1967 and 1968. According to Charles Head, the markings on the caboose designate the year the caboose was built (August 1962) and reconditioned (April 1977). The space on the right under INSP is for the car inspectors to note the date and time of the last inspection. The inspector would check the brake shoes and
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brake piston travel as well as determining if there was sufficient lubrication in the journal box. The journals all had friction bearings and if they ran out of lubrication it would result in a "hot box."

The construction date of the original depot is unknown, though likely built when the railroad first came to Central in the early 1870s. Mrs. B.E. Allen writes in her history of Central that "the depot and sixteen of the principal businesses” were burned after July 4, 1897 when portions of the train business were moved to Greenville, SC.

According to local citizen A.J. Crane, a new freight depot was built and replaced with the third and current depot building around 1940. The building was donated to the town of Central by Southern Railway Company and on December 11, 1973, Bill Wright Moving Company of Anderson transferred the structure from downtown Central to its current Gaines Street location.

Captions (clockwise from top right)
• Photographic evidence from the 1930s shows a depot sat along the tracks Images of this depot do not match those of the 1950s and 1970s when the depot was moved to its current location.
• The building was moved west down Central's Main Street and aver the crossing in the center of town, then parallel eastward along the track to its destination of Gaines Street.
• John Sims, above, was listed as
Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 7, 2021
2. Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose Marker
the railroad agent on the 1930 census.
 
Erected by Town of Central • Mountain Lakes Heritage Corridor/South Carolina National Heritage Corridor • Central Heritage Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1977.
 
Location. 34° 43.448′ N, 82° 46.815′ W. Marker is in Central, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (State Highway 93) and Werner Street, on the right when traveling east on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Central SC 29630, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Central Railroad Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Billy Weems (about 300 feet away); The Werner Family (about 600 feet away); A Community Born of the Railroad (about 600 feet away); Central, South Carolina (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Central (about 800 feet away); Bertha Evans Morgan Rose Garden (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Central History Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Central.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 421 times since then and 196 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   2. submitted on November 10, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Jul. 24, 2024