Old Depot In Extreme Sotheastern South Carolina

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Last weekend on a trip back from Savannah, Ga to Hilton Head, SC, I took SC Hwy No.46 out of Hardeeville, SC. Between Hardeeville & Bluffton, I glanced off the highway & spotted an old depot which appeared to be of the ACL style. Upon closer inspection, it appeared that an old station sign (EXTREMELY faded!!) identified the strucure as the Pritchard (or Pritchardsville) station?? Does anyone know: 1-) Am I correct, and 2-) the history of the structure (dates of construction, operation, etc. Also, when was the line abandoned? This building has obviously been out of service for a LONG time as it is in terrible condition. ALSO, AS A NOTE: ATT: BUDDY HILL. Saw your depot in Ravenel, SC. Spent a little time walking around it. It looks great!! What was the small structure just to the north, across the raod and on the west side of the track??

-- David R. Smith, Jr. (smithtrains@coastalnet.com), August 02, 1998


The SAL's East Carolina Mainline (Hamlet to Savannah) was constructed by predecessor road CA&W between 1914 and 1918. The segment between Charleston and Savannah was the last to be constructed with the route becoming operational in 1918. The Pritchard depot was probably constructed around that time. There were at least 4 combination depots between Charleston and Savannah: Meggetts, Dale, Lobeco, and Pritchard SC. Additional structures included small freight depots at Stono and Wiggins SC and passenger shelters at Airy Hall (plans featured in MR @ Jan 71) and Jasper SC. Based on SAL and C&WC valuation maps, the SAL had a tower or office guarding the SAL/C&WC crossing at Coosaw SC. Other than these buildings, the majority of the remaining structures along the mainline consisted of produce sheds.

The SAL mainline between Charleston and Savannah was abandoned in 1968 due to thigh maintenance costs and the proximity of the parallel ACL mainline. For those folks residing outside of SC, this area of the state is referred to as the "Low Country" due to the large number of swamps, blackwater creeks, rivers, estuaries, tidal creeks, and marshes (and that just describes the area crossed by the ACL). The SAL mainline was located approximately 3 to 10 miles seaward of the ACL mainline which meant the number and size of water bodies to be crossed were significantly greater. While I can't recall the source, I have heard this section of the SAL was a maintenance nightmare due to the upkeep required on the large volume of fill, trestles, and bridges crossing the aforementioned water bodies. Hope this helps. (No emails please - using someone else's computer)

-- Buddy Hill (FandR65@AOL.com), December 15, 1998.

Not much help, but the station is Pritchard and it was SAL. In 53 it was freight service only.

-- Jim Capers (capers@granis.net), August 02, 1998.

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