South Carolina Railroads - Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company.

Acronym

Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point

--

1913

1913

1924

Charleston, SC

Isle of Palms, SC
+ 1913 - The Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company was chartered by the South Carolina Secretary of State on January 7, 1913.
The Electric Railway Journal of November 23, 1912 reported: "James Sottile and his associates have concluded negotiations to take over the Seashore Division of the Charleston Consolidated Railway & Lighting Company between Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Pines, including all wharf property and ferryboats, together with the power house on Sullivan's Island, and have organized the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, which has elected James Sottile president and W. W. Fuller general superintendent and chief engineer."
The McGraw Electric Railway Manual of 1913 reported: "Charleston - Isle of Palms Traction Co. — Incorporated in South Carolina Jan. 9, 1913, to purchase the Seashore division of the Charleston Consolidated Railway, Gas & Electric Co., and to operate it as a separate property. Includes the railway between Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Palms, wharf property, ferryboats and the power house on Sullivan's Island. Does general lighting business in Mount Pleasant, Sullivans's Island and the Isle of Palms." The company operates 9 miles of track, 11 motor cars, and 8 other cars. Officers include - President James Sottile, Secretary Lawrence Pinckney, and Auditor E. E. Hortman.
The Electric Railway Journal of March 1, 1913 reported: "P. H. Gadsden, president of the Charleston Consolidated Railway & Lighting Company, has issued the following statement in regard to the negotiations to transfer the Seashore division of the company to the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, the organization of which was noted in the Electric Railway Journal of Nov. 23, 1912, page 1084: 'The contract with James Sottile, president of the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, for the purchase of the Seashore division of the Charleston Consolidated Railway & Lighting Company was conditioned among other things upon securing the release of the property by the trustees of the mortgage. At the last moment doubts were expressed by the trustee of its power to release. Mr. Sottile suggested several plans for our consideration which would permit of the formal transfer of the property to him, but none of them effectually met the legal questions involved. It became necessary, therefore, to postpone the date for final settlement and transfer of the property until this question could be satisfactorily determined. In the meantime it was agreed that we should operate the property for the account of the purchaser from Feb. 1 until the final settlement and transfer was effected.' ”
The Electric Railway Journal of April 12, 1913 reported: "The Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company is reported to have taken over the Seashore division of the Charleston Consolidated Railway & Lighting Company on March 15, 1913, at midnight. The Seashore division of the company has been operated since Feb. 1, 1913, for the account of the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, pending the settlement of details connected with securing a release of the property embraced in the division from the trustees of the mortgage."
The McGraw Electric Railway Manual of 1914 reported that the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company operated 10 miles of track, 11 motor cars, and 11 other cars. Capital stock $1,000,000. Officers include President & Treasurer James Sottile, Secretary Lawrence Pinckney, and Auditor August Janssen, Jr.

In 1913, the South Carolina State Legislature passed an Act giving oversight jurisdiction of all "Interurban Railways" to the long-standing South Carolina Railroad Commission. In their 36th Annual Report for the year ending December 31, 1914, they provided their first information on the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company:

Stations ............................................... Miles

By Water ..................................................0
Ferry to Mt. Pleasant ............................... 2.73
By Rail at Mt. Pleasant ............................. 0
Sullivan's Island ........................................ 1.46
Isle of Palms ............................................ 7.69

The Electric Railway Journal of December 18, 1915 reported: "Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, Charleston, SC — This company reports that during 1916 it expects to build 1-1/2 miles of 60-lb. T-rail track."
The Electric Railway Journal of December 16, 1916 reported: "Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, Charleston, SC — This company reports that it will construct 1-1/2 miles of new track during 1917."
The Electric Railway Journal of April 12, 1919 reported: "A temporary injunction has been issued restraining the Railroad Commission and the Attorney General of South Carolina from taking steps to enforce the order of the commission relative to the rates on the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company's line at Mount Pleasant, Moultrieville, Atlanticville and on the Isle of Palms. In an order promulgated recently by the Railroad Commission the petition of the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company for an increase in fares was refused, and the matter was turned over to the Attorney-General to force compliance with the order of the commission of Oct. 2, 1918, directing that not more than 3 cents be charged for transportation over the railway. The company considered this unreasonable and confiscatory and appealed to the courts for relief."
The Electric Railway Journal of August 7, 1920 reported: "An opinion recently handed down by Judge Smith of the Federal District Court holds that the rates charged by the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company,
Charleston, SC, are illegal in that they violate the terms of a State law limiting fares to 3 cents a mile. The State Railroad Commission last year authorized the company to charge a straight fare of 3 cents a mile with a minimum charge of 5 cents. The company was later ordered by the commission to cease charging these rates. The company thereupon sought an injunction to restrain the commission from interfering with it in the collection of the 3-cent rate. The court held that the company has the right to abandon operation and to liquidate its assets."
The Electric Railway Journal of August 21, 1920 reported: "The Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, Charleston, SC, has been authorized by the South Carolina Railroad Commission to charge a fare of 5 cents a mile on its lines. Under the new system many of the stations heretofore maintained are abolished, the company making stops each quarter mile. The company some time ago took action to raise its fare above the previous 3-cent limit, but was restrained by court order from doing so on the ground that a fare in excess of 3 cents
a mile was prohibited under the State law. The company recently applied to the Federal District Court for permission to discontinue all service. It later asked the court to permit it to operate during a trial period of one year before rendering a decision."
The Electric Railway Journal of January 7, 1922 reported: "Federal District Court — Public Service Corporation Not Required to Operate at Continuing Loss. The public cannot require of a public service corporation the continued operation of its property under rates which would afford, not only no adequate return on the capital invested, but would, entail a large continuing loss and the eventual exhaustion of the entire
capital. [Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Co. vs. Shealy et al., 266 Federal Rep., 406.]"

The Electric Railway Journal of April 29, 1922 reported: "The Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company's
line is right across the bay from Charleston, with which it has connection by ferry owned by the company. The
principal business is in summer, when all of the forty-two cars of the property are operated."

"The usual method of operation is to send out a motor car with trailer followed by a motor car, as the line does not have loops at its terminals. On the arrival of the two-car train at the end of the line, the following motor car couples up to the trailer, which is uncoupled from the first motor car."

"This line has the distinction of having raised fares during the last five years from 30 cents to $1.30 for the round trip."

The Electric Railway Journal of April 12, 1924 reported: "Perroneau R. Rivers, Charleston, SC, has been appointed receiver of the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, by order of Judge H. A. M. Smith, in federal court upon petition of the Baltimore Trust Company, Baltimore, Md., trustee under the indenture securing $250,000 of 5 per cent bonds. The sheriff of Charleston County, on Feb. 21, seized the ferryboats and cars of the company, under attachment proceedings. He was ordered to show cause why he should not be restrained from proceeding to advertise and sell that portion of the property which he seized."

"No resumption of operations of ferry and car service is contemplated. Meanwhile a public ferry and bridge service has been provided for in a bill passed by the General Assembly to take the place of service formerly run by the company."

"The company was incorporated under the laws of South Carolina on Jan. 9, 1913. It took over the Seashore Division of the Charleston Consolidated Railway & Lighting Company, a line of 10 miles, extending from Mount Pleasant to Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms, with its equipment and powerhouse on Sullivan's Island. Mount Pleasant and Charleston are connected by ferry by the company by means of two ferryboats."

The Electric Railway Journal of May 3, 1924 reported: "Judge Henry A. M. Smith recently handed down a decree ordering the final sale of the property of the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company, Charleston, SC, at public auction on May 7. Recently P. R. Rivers, Charleston, was appointed receiver of the company by order of Judge Smith in Federal court upon petition of the Baltimore Trust Company, trustee, under the indenture securing $250,000 of 5 per cent bonds. The Sheriff of Charleston County on Feb. 21 seized the ferryboats and cars of the company under attachment proceedings. He was ordered to show cause why he should not be restrained from proceeding to advertise and sell that portion of the property which he seized. Arthur M. Huger, United States Commissioner, was named by Judge Smith in the order appointing a receiver as a special master in this matter. The property will be offered for sale by Mr. Huger."

"If efforts should fail to sell the property as a whole the master will be prepared to offer it in three parcels; the
first will be composed of the wharves and slips located in Charleston, office furniture, materials and supplies; parcel 2 will be comprised of the tracks of the Charleston-Isle of Palms Traction Company as they now lie, and parcel 3 will include the cables, lighting and power systems, poles and overhead wiring."

Towns on Route:

Charleston

Mt. Pleasant

Moultrieville

Isle of Palms



© 2018 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved