“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Central in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

The Central Railroad Hotel

The Central Railroad Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Marsteller, November 7, 2021
1. The Central Railroad Hotel Marker
Inscription.  Across the railroad tracks from the present Red Caboose once stood a long rambling hotel among a grove of trees built by the railroad company in the late nineteenth century, known as the Central Railroad Hotel. The hotel was famous up and down the railroad line due to its excellent management and reputation for quality food, spoonbread being one of the hotel's specialties.

When northbound train No. 12 and southbound train No. 13 met every day at Central at noon, the passengers were greeted by a porter named John Stokes. Stokes would wear a snow white coat and would start ringing a large dinner bell and welcoming everyone to the dining room saying, “Come right in ladies and gentlemen, this is where you get blackberry pie and fresh Seneca River Salmon.” It was custom that once the guests were served, the waiters passed among the tables and said, “Please sir, will you have some more.”

The south of the building housed the large dining room and hotel rooms. The northern end of the building encompassed a ticket office, passenger waiting room and the railroad office.

The Central Railroad Hotel burned on June 8, 1936 at 10
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p.m. in the evening. The building, according to the Greenville News, was a “three-story frame structure and made a tremendous blaze. The lack of wind and the recent rain kept other structures from being damaged.” Fortunately, the hotel was unoccupied, as the Southern Railroad Company had the building on the market for sale.

The Central Railroad Water Tank was located just west of the entrance to the Railroad Hotel. When a train stopped to fill its water tanks, a fireman would pull down a discharge pipe, extend it to the proper track and pump water into the locomotive's tender tank.

Though the water tank is no longer standing today the concrete footings can be found beside the railroad track adjacent to the intersection of Church and Main streets in downtown Central.

[Center, top] The Central Railroad Hotel and water tank looking south (pre-1936).
[Center, bottom] Train passengers and hotel guests outside the Central Railroad Hotel.

[Right] The Central Railroad Hotel, 1920.
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: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is June 8, 1936.
The Central Railroad Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 7, 2021
2. The Central Railroad Hotel Marker
Featured marker is on the left.
34° 43.492′ N, 82° 46.852′ W. Marker is in Central, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is at the intersection of Broad Street and Gaines Street, on the left when traveling west on Broad 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. Billy Weems (here, next to this marker); Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Werner Family (about 500 feet away); A Community Born of the Railroad (about 500 feet away); Central, South Carolina (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Central (about 700 feet away); Bertha Evans Morgan Rose Garden (approx. ¼ mile away); The Central History Museum (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Central.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 243 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   2. submitted on November 9, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Oct. 4, 2023