Less Traveled 2010

Tracy Pou

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Small Town Spotlight -- Branchville

Posted 6/23/2010 10:01:00 AM

If you're a history buff, the small town of Branchville is a must-see during your next visit to the Palmetto State.

Branchville, located on the southern tip of Orangeburg County, is home to the world's oldest railroad junction. The junction was built in 1828 and ran from Charleston to Branchville and was on the route of the country's first scheduled train. The town has highlighted its historical distinction by establishing the Branchville Railroad Shrine and Museum at the site of the old train depot. The museum gives visitors a close-up look at the railroad industry and its influence on the Branchville area.

The museum isn't the only way Branchville pays homage to its railroad history. The Raylrode Daze Festivul is another. And no, that name isn't a typo. That's the actual spelling of the event! During Raylrode Daze, hundreds gather in Branchville for a celebration that includes music, contests, a parade and much more. Raylrode Daze is held the last full weekend in September, but you don't have to wait until then to visit the town. If you'd like to check out the Branchville Railroad Shrine and Museum, call (803) 274-8104 in advance to schedule a tour. The site is open to the public, but by appointment only.

During your visit, don't leave town without sampling some great southern cuisine at the Eatery Restaurant, located inside the train depot. And if you're planning a summer visit, check out the Churn. The ice cream shop is downtown favorite on hot summer days. Branchville is located off Interstate 95 at Exit 77 (Take Highway 78 West into Branchville.)