South Carolina Railroads - Street Railways - Orangeburg

The following one (1) known "Street Railway" was operational in the town of Orangeburg from 1889 to 1908, when the line ceased operations.

Orangeburg City Street Railway Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1888

1889

1908

3.0 miles

The Orangeburg City Street Railway Company was chartered on December 22, 1888 by the South Carolina Legislature. Dr. J. W. Lowman, J. W. H. Dukes, Dr. O. R. Lowman, L. H. Wannamaker, B. H. Moss, M. B. Randle, and D. E. Dukes were named as incorporators in the legislative Act. The company was authorized capital stock of $25,000, and the charter was authorized for twenty-one (21) years.

According to Mr. Thomas Fetters in his book entitled "Palmetto Traction - Electric Railways of South Carolina (1978), the Orangeburg City Street Railway was completed on September 1, 1889 and ran from the Southern Railway Station over Russell Street to Broughton Street and on the the Atlantic Coast Line Station. Several of the larger mercantile stores on Russell Street had spurs into their yards. The line was operated with a stable of two horses and four mules. A small steam engine was used for hauling freight at night, but the daytime freight service was with the mule team.

Originally, there were six (6) cars - three flatbed freight cars and three passenger cars. A ride between the two railroad stations or to any stop in town was five cents. In 1902, almost two-thirds of all car mileage was for freight. By the end of its service, there were five (5) freight cars and only two (2) passenger cars.


Orangeburg City Street Railway c.1905

The Orangeburg Times & Democrat newspaper of 1889 reported: "Railway construction began in July and was completed in September at a cost of about $10,000. The Charleston News and Courier reported in 1889, 'The greatest improvement made in the past year is the establishment of the Orangeburg City Street Railway.' Matters were going fairly well for the new city railway until company executives decided to change from "horsepower" to steam power to pull the cars. A trial run was done of a "dummy" or miniature locomotive and it did not go well. Shoppers and businessmen along the way objected to the smoke and grime cast upon the city by the locomotive. The largest protest may have T&D Staff Report Orangeburg City Council in the late 1800s had a desire for its own streetcar. Council approved building streetcar tracks down the center of Russell and Broughton streets from the Southern Railway depot at Russell Street to the Atlantic Coast Line depot on South Broughton. The street car line transported people from one railroad station to another, with stops along the route to offload passengers and freight. In May 1889, the Orangeburg City Street Railway Company got down to the business of electing directors after one thousand shares of stock had been sold for $25 each. One month later, the directors announced the rates for travel along the one-mile, horse-pulled railway. Single tickets were 5 cents each or 25 for one dollar. Railway cars were hauled for $1.50 out of the station, and the tab was $1 for a return trip."

The Street Railway Journal of 1892 reported that the Orangeburg Street Railway had 2-1/2 miles of track operational, six (6) cars, four (4) horses, and six (6) mules. Officers include President & General Manager J.W.H. Dukes and Vice-President N.H. Bull.

The Street Railway Journal of 1894 reported that the Orangeburg Street Railway had 2-1/2 miles of track operational, six (6) cars, four (4) horses, and six (6) mules. Officers include the same as reported in 1892 plus Secretary-Treasurer B.H. Moss.

The American Street Railway Investments magazines of 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, and 1902 reported that the Orangeburg City Street Railway had 3 miles of track (horse), 6 horses, and 6 horse cars built by Brill. Officers include - President, General Manager & Purchasing Agent J. W. H. Dukes, Vice-President N. H. Bull, and Secretary-Treasurer B. H. Moss. Capital Stock $25,000. Funded debt none. Date of latest information - Feb. 1901.

The Street and Electric Railways Census of December 1902 reported that the Orangeburg City Street Railway owned and operated 1.87 miles of track and had $500,000 in capital stock.

The American Street Railway Investments magazines of 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, and 1908 reported that the Orangeburg City Street Railway had 3 miles of track (horse), 6 horses, and 6 Brill cars. Officers same as 1902. Dates of information - January 1903, July 1903, April 1905, February 1906, January 1907, and June 1907.

The Street & Electric Railways Census of 1907 reported that the Orangeburg City Street Railway Company had 1.5 miles of track and $5,000 in capital stock.

The Street Railway Journal of November 1907 reported that the Orangeburg City Street Railway Company had 3 miles of track (horse) and 6 cars.

Streetcar operations were discontinued in 1908.



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