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

A Community Born of the Railroad

 
 
A Community Born of the Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 7, 2021
1. A Community Born of the Railroad Marker
Inscription.  As the midpoint between the major population centers of Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, 133 miles from each city, the community of Central found itself the focus of a railroad boom in the early 1870s. The Keowee Courier newspaper reported that President Buford of the Air Line Railroad drove the last spike at Seneca River on August 26, 1873.

The Town of Central's railroad history began even before its incorporation by the State of South Carolina on March 17, 1875, when the railroad added a depot, new sidetracks, a repair shop, a framing shop, a “Y” turntable, a water tank and a coal chute. Railroad scholars debate the original construction date of the Railroad Hotel, but according to newspaper, The Pickens Sentinel, the hotel was thoroughly remodeled in 1887.

Central was designated as the Railroad Terminal where engines would be refueled and changed, so the railroad built shops for the railway workers. Engineers, conductors and telegraph operators brought their families to Central, and finding the refreshing climate and friendly people to their liking, built homes and settled the area.

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the 1880s homes and businesses sprung up on the south side of the tracks including Morgan Store and the home of F.B. Morgan, now the site of Central Railway Museum.

In the late 1890s the decision was made to move the railroad facilities to Greenville, South Carolina. After a devastating fire of homes and stores in 1898, the town's economy was in a major decline.

In the early 1900s Southern Wesleyan University and Issaqueena Cotton Mill were constructed and became an integral part of the community and the town began to rebuild on a different economy.

Captions (clockwise from top left)
• Atlanta & Richmond Air Line Railway Schedule, 1878.
• Southern Railway Co. ticket belonging to Thomas Lewis Watkins.
• Central Railroad plat.
• Central residents in 1945 waiting for the train carrying the body of President Franklin D. Roosevelt from Warm Springs, GA to Washington, DC.
 
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 March 17, 1875.
 
Location. 34° 43.424′ N, 82° 46.921′ W. Marker is in Central, South Carolina,
A Community Born of the Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 7, 2021
2. A Community Born of the Railroad Marker
Featured marker is on the right.
in Pickens County. Marker can be reached from Werner Street north of Stewart Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker is in the Central Railway Model and Historical Association parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 108 Werner St, 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 Werner Family (here, next to this marker); Central, South Carolina (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Central (within shouting distance of this marker); Billy Weems (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Central Railroad Hotel (about 500 feet away); Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose (about 600 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 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 320 times since then and 51 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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Jul. 14, 2024