Showing posts from April, 2012

Greenville railroad history: the Charleston & Western Carolina

When you think of an abandoned railroad in Greenville County, the first and probably only one that might come to mind is the Greenville & Northern railroad, better known as the Swamp Rabbit. Another abandoned railroad used to run into downtown Greenville for many years, the Charleston & Western Carolina.

The predecessor to the Charleston & Western Carolina (or the C&WC), the Greenville & Laurens, built a railroad into Greenville in 1884. A 1888 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Greenville shows where the freight depot was located in 1888, between Broad and Court Streets:

By 1913, a new freight depot and a passenger depot had been built near Falls Street and McBee Street, where the Suntrust Building is now:

Passenger service was ended by the mid 1950s, and in 1973, the successor to the Charleston & Western Carolina, Seabord Coast Line Railroad Company (now CSX), sold off its downtown Greenville properties, including the depots, warehouse, and the railroad track.


Forgotten Taylors railroad history: the P&N railroad

The Piedmont & Northern railway or P&N, now CSX, was an interurban railway operating two disconnected lines in South Carolina and North Carolina and was chartered by James Duke of the Duke Power Company. The South Carolina railway line ran from Greenwood to Greenville, Taylors, Greer, and on to Spartanburg. The railway was electrified with 1500 volts DC, until 1954 when the conversion to diesel locomotives was completed and the electrification abandoned.

The Enoree viaduct, built in 1913, has been remarkably accident free except for that one derailment on February 9, 1919. A northbound train passing over the viaduct derailed at its highest point killing 4 passengers and injuring 1 employee and 23 passengers. An investigation into the accident [direct link] concluded poor track conditions and a tie-bar set too low caused the derailment.

An electrical substation used to be located downhill from the top of the Enoree viaduct supplying power for the Chick Springs segment on proper…

Meta: Switched view template

I just switched to the Dynamic View template. Now that gadgets are supported, I'm giving it a try on this blog. Comments on the change are, of course, welcome.

Update: Page load times were way too slow. Blech. Going back to the Simple template.

Update 04/15/2012: Trying dynamic views template again. The page load times improved noticeably.

Down and around Shoals Junction

Earlier in the week I toured some of the small towns of Greenwood, Abbeville, and Laurens Counties with Tom Taylor, a fine fellow I first met in person at Pinckneyville. Tom has already written about his experiences, and I'm ready to share mine.

Tom had some time off coming up, and he was ready and willing to spend part of a day searching for ghost towns. After some back and forth, we settled on finding Shoals Junction. The name came to our attention from the South Carolina section of the Abandoned Rails website, more specifically the Ware Shoals Railroad section of the site. Several small communities surround Shoals Junction and so we decided to tour as many of these communities as time allowed. Turns out time allowed for quite a nice tour!

Ware Shoals
Ware Shoals was on the way to Shoals Junction so it was a good place to visit first. After a tour of the town, including a drive by the old mill site on Mill St., the Ware Shoals Inn, and the power generation area, we stopped to expl…

First and last visit to Lyman Mill

After reading a story on the destruction of the old Lyman Mill in Lyman, SC that closed in 2005, I quickly decided I wanted photos of the mill before they get too far along tearing down the mill.

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I thought being a Sunday the crews wouldn't be working, but I was quickly proved wrong. A few people were in their machines busy with their work. The area is surrounded by a construction fence, but a large part of the parking lot is still available to park and walk around.

Part of the work is already done, and the company performing the destruction expects to done by the end of May.

Most of the mill is still intact at this time. If you want to visit though, you better visit soon.

I also found an abandoned railroad right of way I just had to explore. I traced it back to where it headed into someone's property, and not far beyond it presumably would have merged with the mainline. Then I traced the line toward the mill.

The railroad passes by the mill at the…