Fenwick/Wiggens seafood/peat rail spur

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Looking for information on line that ran to Bennets Point for seafood distribution and peat mine distribution at Fenwick on Bears Island, SC. This is in center of ACE basin Area. Old SAL abond line Savannah/Charleston/Hamlet?

-- Bob Lockhart (trainbob@mail.charleston.net), February 28, 1999


The history behind may of the spurs located on the SAL's East Carolina mainline btw Charleston and Savannah are not very well documented. Based on limited information provided in Tom Fetter's book "Logging Railroads of SC", the Fenwick Spur may have started out as the right of way for the Savannah River Logging Co. The book describes how log trains hauled timber from inland swamps to a saw mill near Bennetts Point for processing and transfer into waiting ships. Operations ceased in the late teens/early twenties after the timber was exhausted. How the SAL came into possession of the line and the type of traffic generated thereafter is not clear. Based on other SAL spurs in the region, truck farming would be the most probable source of freight traffic.

Based on 1918 SAL valuation maps, there were six SAL branches or spurs between Charleston & Savannah. They were: 1) Old Town spur located immediately across the Ashley River from Charleston; 2) Pierpont Spur located @2 miles southwest of Charleston; 3) Blitches Spur on Johns Is; 4) Yonges Is. Spur located in Meggetts SC; 5) Fenwick Spur mentioned above; and 6) a spur in Beaufort or Jasper Counties (name unknown at this time). All spurs are known or suspected to have served truck farming areas.

As a side note to the above, the Meggetts/Yonges Is. area was once known as the "Cabbage Capital of the World" and was serviced by the ACL from Ravenel SC (ACL mainline) via a 5 mile branch (Meggetts Branch). The ACL branch included a wharf at Yonges Is, 19 miles of spurs (Hollywood, Toogoodoo, & Blitches Spurs), an ice house, two icing platforms, a barrel factory, and 40+ produce sheds. At the height of the produce season well over 100+ cars per day were handled by the ACL. The trains of produce were typically powered by 4-6-0s and frequently required a second Copperhead pushing on the rear to move a cut of loaded reefers up the grade out of the Melichamp Branch swamp and back into the yard at Ravenel. Latecomer SAL's EC mainline "slashed" through the middle of it all crossing the Meggetts Branch once and the Hollywood Spur three times. On the ACL's Charleston District, the branch and network of spurs were known as the "Cabbage Patch" or the C&S Vegetable Territory. They had another name for the SAL...... The produce operations of the ACL & SAL btw Charleston and Savannah were definitely interesting and are worthy modeling projects. Hope the above helps and apologies to all for getting carried away this answer (its my home!). No emails please-using someone else's computer (to end soon). Buddy

-- Buddy Hill (FandR65@AOL.com), March 01, 1999.

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