SAL in the ACE Basin : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

There was discussion a couple years ago abt an article in Lines South on the SAL from Charleston south to Savannah, but I guess it never got off the ground. I have photos of that area from the sixties and may be able to contribute if anyone is writing such an article. Question is, was there a branchline off from Meggett's to Young's Island and why would it go there? Was Barrellville on the mainline and was there an industry there which fed barrels to the world via the SAL?mw

-- mike West (, February 27, 2002


David - The history, etc., of ACL's St.Andrews/Croghans Branch has just been covered on this forum by Buddy Hill and myself on August 31st. Do a search of the index on the forum's home page.

-- Tom Underwood (, September 08, 2003.

Mike - The Yonge's Island Branch was ACL property which branched off the ACL mainline at Ravnel SC. In the early 1900 era there was passenger service on the branch with a connecting boat to the coastal islands. Also associated with this line were about 20 miles of freight only branches, between the SAL line and the coast, serving produce truck farms.

-- Tom Underwood (, September 08, 2003.

A little off the subject, but, since it is same general area, thought I'd ask. I lived in Charleston 3/77-7/80, and made a few pictures along a branch that ran from Johns Island into Croghan, on the west side of the Ashley. Was totally preoccupied with locos in those days, so never bothered to learn history of line. I swapped a couple of short emails with another ACL/SAL member a couple years ago, but didn't follow-up. Have moved since, and lost track of person's name. Can you shed any light on this branch? Would it be included in your article? Are my 1970s shots likely to be of any use? Thanks.

-- David Harris (, September 08, 2003.


The article is definitely in the works. John Golden and I are in the process of gathering information, val maps, photographs, etc. and have started writing sections of the article. Photographic coverage of this section of the SAL EC line is best summed up as little to none so any photos you could contribute would be greatly appreciated.

Getting to your questions: At the turn of the century, the section of the SC "Low Country" between Charleston and Beaufort was the center of the truck farming industry in South Carolina. The Meggetts- Yonges Is area in particular was billed as the "Cabbage Capitol of the World" and beds of over a million cabbage plants were not uncommon. The majority of these cabbage plants were harvested after sprouting and shipped to northern areas of the country for replanting. Other crops planted included potatos, tomatoes, corn, beans, peas, asparagus, and anything else imaginable and edible.

The Plant System/ACL was the first to tap this market (~1898) with the construction of a 24 mile network of spus and branchline from its mainline at Ravenel to a wharf at Yonges Is. The ACL operated approximately 33 produce sheds and the aforementioned wharf and as late as 1940 still generated 2100 carloads during a three week period at the height of the potato rush.

The SAL (CA&W) constructed its mainline through the area around 1915. As the late comer, most SAL produce sheds were located on its mainline although it did construct a short branch/with sheds on the outskirts of the Meggett-Yonges Is. area which it named its Yonges Is. Branch. From what I've been able to find the SAL abandoned the branch piecemeal in the 30s. The SAL also had a spur on Johns Is. (Blitches Spur) and a spur in the West Ashley area of Charleston (believe it called the Pierpont Spur - don't have notes with me!).

Regarding Barrelville. You are correct. The community got its name for the barrel factory situated between the SAL mainline and the ACL's Hollywood Spur. The remains of the factory are still there. The plant produced barrels for the shipping of potatos and other materials and was serviced by the ACL and SAL. As a side note in the early 1900s, logging trains of the Hollywood Mfg. Co used the ACL spur to travel from the barrel factory to tap a nearby stand of timber. The Barrelville produce shed is still standing and is visible from Hwy 174 (on left if heading toward Edisto Is.). Sorry to be so long winded but we are talking home! Hope it helps.

Buddy Hill

-- Buddy Hill (, February 27, 2002.

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