The Coming of the Railroad

Pacolet Station owed much of its early growth to the coming of the Spartanburg Union Railroad. The road was built as a means to help the vicinity of the city of Spartanburg ship its products, particularly its mineral products, to the seaport town of Charleston, SC. In Pacolet, the road was built right beside the old stage coach road that ran from Spartanburg to Columbia. The first train ran through Pacolet on November, 25, 1859. Its arrival in Spartanburg was met with a huge celebration. A barbecue with  8,000 pounds of meat was prepared.  The normal population of Spartanburg at that time was about 1200 people. It was estimated that a crowd of between eight and fifteen thousand showed up for the food and the ceremonies.

The railroad brought lots of business to Pacolet Station. Guests going to the nearby mineral springs such as Glenn Springs were met at the depot in Pacolet Station by horse drawn carriages to take them to their final destination. Several trains a day passed through Pacolet.

A
bout 1947, when I was 10 years old, I rode the train with my family from Charleston to Pacolet Station. We caught the train at the depot in downtown Charleston. Our passenger cars were pulled by an old style steam engine. The cars were not air conditioned and the windows were down. We could easily hear the train whistle and the engine noises. Once we were moving, some of the engine smoke and tiny pieces of cinders blew into the car windows. I don’t remember that the train went all that fast and we stopped at several stations along the way. I do remember that we got off the train at Pacolet Station. We walked out to Coleman’s store and waited for someone to take us the rest of the way to Pacolet Mills.

Pacolet Mills had its own special railroad service. A spur line was built from the main line in Pacolet Station to Pacolet Mills. An engine known by everyone as "The Dummy" used this track. It carried raw cotton from the main line to the mills and it carried finished cloth back to the main railroad. Click on this link for more information and photos about "The Dummy".

 
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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Pacolet. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is me, Gerald Teaster.  Contact me at:
gteaster@pacoletmemories.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117.  My regular mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485

See more information about my Pacolet connection at Gerald Teaster.