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Branchville in Orangeburg County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company

Original Track Location

 
 
South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1, 2007
1. South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company Marker
Inscription.  Began first successful scheduled steam railroad service in America on December 25, 1830, and by 1833 its 136 miles from Charleston to Hamburg made it the world’s longest railroad. Now part of the Southern Railway System. (Marker Number 38-3.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: LandmarksNotable EventsRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1883.
 
Location. 33° 15.067′ N, 80° 48.95′ W. Marker is in Branchville, South Carolina, in Orangeburg County. Marker is on U.S. 21, on the right when traveling north. Next to Railroad Station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 NMain St, Branchville SC 29432, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Branchville Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Orangeburg County (within shouting distance of this marker); Woodlands (approx. 8˝ miles away); Bowman Rosenwald School (approx. 9.8 miles away); Bowman S.C. (approx. 10.3 miles away); Bowman War Memorial
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(approx. 10.3 miles away); Captain Richard A Morris (approx. 10.3 miles away); Green Pond United Methodist Church (approx. 11.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Branchville.
 
Regarding South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company. Chartered in 1827, the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company ran scheduled steam service over its 136 mile line from Charleston, SC to Hamburg, SC beginning in 1833. At that time it may have been the longest railroad in the world. It was also known as the Charleston and Hamburg Railroad although it is unclear if that was a legal name, a subsidiary name, or just a nickname. In 1843, this line and the abortive Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Railroad merged to become the South Carolina Rail Road.
 
Also see . . .
1. Old Pics. (Submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. South Carolina Canal and Rail Road per Wikipedia. (Submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
3. Article:When Trains Reigned. (Submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
 
Branchville Station image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, July 1, 2007
2. Branchville Station
Branchville Station image. Click for full size.
S.C. Dept . of Archives and History, circa 1973
3. Branchville Station
(Branchville Depot) The depot at Branchville is the site of the oldest railroad junction in the United States. The original line coming from Charleston and extending to Hamburg was completed in 1832. At the time, it was the longest line in America, as well as being almost twice as long as any in America. In 1840, a line was extended to Orangeburg establishing Branchville as the first junction in the country. The depot, built in 1877, reflects the important role the railroad played in the development of commerce and transportation in South Carolina during the nineteenth century. The establishment of the railroad provided an efficient route for inland towns to send their cotton and farm products to the coast. The depot was also the site of a speech given by President-elect William Howard Taft in 1909. Several rooms in the main structure of the one-story building have been restored to reflect the 1870s and 1880s. The building is constructed of brick with a stucco finish. The hipped roof is covered with painted tin. Listed in the National Register April 23, 1973.(South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
Branchville Station image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1, 2007
4. Branchville Station
The Southern Railway Passenger Depot, known as the Branchville Railroad, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 (Building #73001723) • Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering • Architect, builder, or engineer: Unknown Architectural Style: No Style Listed • Area of Significance: Military, Transportation, Commerce • Period of Significance: 1825-1849, 1850-1874 • Owner: Private • Historic Function: Transportation • Historic Sub-function: Rail-Related • Current Function: Work In Progress.
Telegrapher's Desk...Six keys and four separate lines image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1, 2007
5. Telegrapher's Desk...Six keys and four separate lines
Southern Railway (now Norfolk Southern Railway) gained control of the line in 1899 and obtained a lease to the South Carolina and Georgia Railroad in 1902. The lease is still in effect.
Old Southern Railroad Telephone Operator's Switchboard image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1, 2007
6. Old Southern Railroad Telephone Operator's Switchboard
Branchville the first R.R. junction point in the world.
Famous Dining Room - three U.S. Presidents ate here, one ordered " to go." image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1, 2007
7. Famous Dining Room - three U.S. Presidents ate here, one ordered " to go."
Among the countless travelers who enjoyed meals in the old Branchville passenger depot dining room (still in use today) were Presidents William H. Taft, William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's train also stopped in Branchville en route to Warm Springs, Ga., but he remained on board.
Communications Manager J. Norris' Velocepede image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Stroud, July 1, 2007
8. Communications Manager J. Norris' Velocepede
This is a pedal-powered, 3-wheel mode of transportation, which Mr. Norris used to travel up and down the track from pole to pole. Also here is Mr. Norris' tool belt and spikes.
The Dining Room image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, February 2008
9. The Dining Room
One time Southern RR Master Clock image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, February 2008
10. One time Southern RR Master Clock
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 12, 2018. It was originally submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,774 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on August 5, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. Photos:   1. submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   2, 3. submitted on May 12, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   9, 10. submitted on February 23, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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