Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Best Friend of Charleston
The Best Friend was built at the West Point Foundry in New York. She traveled to Charleston aboard the ship Niagara and was delievered to the machine shops of Dotterer & Eason. Nicholas Darrell, the first engineer of the Best Friend was repaired and renamed The Phoenix. Nicholas Darrell continued to work for SCC&RR as engineer of the West Point and later as engineer of the South Carolina, the first eight wheeled engine designed by Horatio Allen.
In 1928, a replica of the Best Friend was built from the original blueprints to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the SCC&RR. The Best Friend was donated to the City of Charleston
"The one hundred and forty-one persons flew on the wings of wind at the speed of fifteen to twenty-five miles per hour, annihilating time and space ... leaving all the world behind."
* Charleston Courier December 29, 1850 *
Location. 32° 47.334′ N, 79° 56.236′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker is on John Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch 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. Bound For Glory (here, next to this marker); Building a Nation (here, next to this marker); The Railroad Comes To Charleston (here, next to this marker); Passengers and Products (within shouting distance of this marker); Camden Depot (about 300 feet away, measured 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 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
Regarding The Best Friend of Charleston. • 30 mph top speed and 12 mph average speed with the cars
• 6 horsepower engine
• 3.75 tons weight w/o wood and water
• $10 train ticket cost and about 9 hours to ride from Charleston to Augusta
• Two full size replicas exist today: one on display at the SC State Museum in Columbia and one currently on loan to Norfolk Southern for display in their Atlanta headquarters
••On June 17, 1831, only 6 months after its launch, the Best Friend of Charleston made history again. Word has it an inexperienced fireman became annoyed with the loud hissing steam escaping from the safety valve. He pressed down the valve and few moments later an explosion rocked the locomotive killing him, scalding the engineer and scattering the boiler all over the country side. The “Best Friend of Charleston” was destroyed but not finished…remains from the locomotive were used to built the “Phoenix” that rode the South Carolina tracks for many years to come.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. more about The Best Friend of Charleston
Also see . . .
1. Charleston Chapter, National Railway Historical Society. "Best Friend of Charleston" (Submitted on February 3, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
2. Horatio Allen. from Wikipedia. ... From 1829 to 1834 he was the chief engineer (Submitted on February 4, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 3, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 889 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 4, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 5. submitted on September 25, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 6. submitted on July 29, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.