Marion, SC to Lumberton, NC
Note: Information was drawn from Poor's Manual of Railroads - 1903, and Moody's Steam Railroads, John Moody, 1944.
Originally built as the Carolina Northern Railroad, the line was chartered to extend from Lumberton, NC to South Marion, SC -- 40 miles. The railroad began construction in 1899 and opened from Lumberton to Kingsdale on January 1, 1900, to Proctorville on July 1, 1900, to Barnesville on December 15, 1900, and completed to Marion and South Marion on December 1, 1901. The Carolina Northern entered receivership on December 2, 1902.
The Raleigh and Charleston Railroad Company was incorporated on December 5, 1905 as the successor to the Carolina Northern. In December 1911, the Seaboard Air Line acquired the company and the line. The R&C intersected with the SAL at Smithboro to the northeast of Marion and at Lumberton, NC. The Company entered receivership in May 1931. The approximate 23 miles between Lumberton and Lake View, SC, was abandoned in 1933. The remaining section (20 miles) from Lake View to Marion was abandoned effective June 30, 1941. The R&C was listed as "abandoned" during the early 1940s reorganization proceedings of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. The R&C did not exist as an entity after the 1945 reorganization of SAL.
The right-of-way between Lake View and Marion was then used for the roadbed of SC Highway 41. The ROW is amazingly easy to find in most places between Lake View and Lumberton. A portion south of Lumberton has been used as a ROW for a sewer line. Towns from Lumberton to the south are Kingsdale, Proctorville, Barnesville, Flowers, Marietta, Holmesville, Lake View (Page's Mill), Kemper, May, Mellier, Squires, Fork, Smithboro, Zion, Rogers, Marion and South Marion.
The last time I was in Lake View (about 10 years ago), the old depot was occupied by a hardware/feed & seed store. It looked like it was thriving then.
The beginning of this abandoned railroad is right off of the CSX line from Wilmington to rockingham. I discovered it by accident one day while jogging. Funny story actually, (flashback) when I was a kid me and a few friends used to play on this old conboose that was on the main line. We made a mess in it (just being kids no harm indented) and got escorted away the the police. The caboose was then moved and no longer to be found until another decade or so. (back to present) so while I was running down the main railline a shinny large object caught my eye in the woods down a scary railroad....THE MISSING CABOOSE! So I reminisced than wanted to see where the tracks went. Only about 200 yds or so then stop abruptly in the middle of a park. I am assuming it picks back up on a roadbed further down.
I lived in Barnesville NC where the Marion SC to Lumberton NC went through. I attached a picture on the website of the old rr bed and my brother attached one of our dads store with the train in the background.
Would like to hear any feedback.