The Coming of the Railroad
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.
About 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".
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:
or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. My
regular mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485