McBee to Jefferson

The Charlotte, Monroe and Columbia Railroad

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A faded picture of a 4-4-0 CM&C steam locomotive, affectionately known as "Old Molly". This was a Baldwin locomotive, formerly Seaboard Air Line #206. Locals would put firewood beside the tracks for her in order to keep her fire going. (Submitted by Randy Rayfield)

The Charlotte, Monroe and Columbia railroad was chartered in 1901 with intent to construct a railroad line from McBee, SC (at a connection with the Seaboard Air Line mainline there), to Monroe, NC, to the north. The line was built between McBee and Jefferson, SC, a distance of 18 miles, the following year. In 1912, the remainder of the line to Monroe to was surveyed, but not graded.

Primary freight revenue came from the lumber industry; sawmills were built along the line with associated tramways to bring logs out of the forests. Other products shipped along the CM&C were cotton, along with fruits and vegetables from local farms, and fertilizer.

Passenger service was also established; with seven stops along the route, a round trip would take three hours. Mileposts along the line:

MPStation
00McBee
07Junction
09Diggs
11Lee
12Clark
14Miller
18Jefferson

Despite the prosperity that the railroad brought to nearby communities, those communities could not return enough to sustain the CM&C, which filed for abandonment in 1940; following suit, many of the communities served by the CM&C were subsequently abandoned as well.

Thanks to Randy Rayfield for contributing information about this route.

Thank you for this entry. It seems so odd that communities were once so dependent on rail service that they couldn't exist without it.

david paschal
lexington, SC
12/4/2013

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What great information. I am working with a friend who has taken on this as a research project. Would be very interested in pictures or any other information that might be available.

Kevin Johnson
McBee, SC
2/2/2015

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