City Directories and History: “The entire business quarter of the village has been rebuilt. A dozen handsome brick stores have been built and filled with large and
varied stocks of goods. Messrs. M. S. Bailey & Sons, Bailey Bros., Owens Bros., R. R. Blakely, R. Z. Wright & Co., Summerel Bros., R. N. S. Young, M. B. Vance, J. W. Young, J. M. Blakely, D. M. Fulton, and Little Bros. & Co. are among the Albright and the Misses Copeland have fine millinery establishments. We have an excellent hotel in Dr. Irby’s, known as “The Drummers’ Retreat,” and a fine boarding-house called the “Toni-Dora.” Only a year ago a handsome bank building was erected, and a large banking business with $75,000 capital is conducted by Messrs. M.S. Bailey & Sons.” Reprinted from South Carolina in the 1880s: A Gazetteer by J.H. Moore, Sandlapper Publishing Company – 1989
“One of the most familiar landmarks of Clinton disappeared with the removal of the old CN&L freight depot several years ago.
From all accounts the building was erected before the War Between the States. F. M. Boland, Jr., (Clinton Chronicle of December 7, 1967) thinks it was built around 1850, recalling from records that the CN&L was incorporated in 1885 and began operation in 1890. Before that time the station had served as Southern Railroad headquarters in Clinton.
During the heyday of rail transportation, four trains would meet here each afternoon about 2 o’clock (one each way on each road — CN&L and Seaboard) providing exceptional service for the small community. Local people say the depot was a favorite gathering place. On Sundays, especially, one could almost determine the male population of the village by counting the men and boys around the station. To this point long lines of wagons brought farm goods to be shipped to Charleston.
No longer operating any passenger service, the CN&L line is controlled by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. The depot was abandoned when the Seaboard and Atlantic Coast Line railroads merged. The CN&L traffic was then routed through Clinton on the Seaboard Coast Line tracks.
Apparently the material for construction of the building was prepared elsewhere and brought to Clinton as it was discovered after being dismantled that the rafters, joists and all sections had been marked to fit into an exact location. The lumber was straight grain heart-of-long-leaf pine with no knots in it. Studs were stabilized by wooden pegs; and handmade nails, perhaps added at a later date, reinforced the pegs. Beneath the tin roof were found several layers of handmade shingles.
F. M. (Blue) Boland had served as agent since 1962 and before that date as telegrapher under the late W. C. Shealy, who had been agent since 1927. Mr. Boland’s father was agent at the station for some fifteen or twenty years before becoming cashier at Commercial Bank in Clinton in 1918. When dismantled, one wall revealed bullet holes, made when Clinton’s only peace officer about the turn of the century fired his pistol at a would- be-safecracker seen through the station window.
The material from the razed building was given to Thornwell Home for Children to be used in the several building projects in progress at that time. Doctor Malcolm Macdonald, president, in accepting the gift for the home, said the thirty-foot heart-of-pine beams and pegged joists could be used to advantage in their building program.”
Information from: The Laurens County Sketchbook, Author – J.S. Bolick, 1973
“The town of Clinton was once an intersection of the Grcenville-Columbia Highway, the Spartanburg-Augusta Highway, and a local road coming from the northwest. These roads formed a junction that became known as Five Points. The junction became a popular spot for drinking, horse racing, and cock fighting. In 1852, the Laurens and Newberry Railroad was scheduled to be built through this junction. Twenty-eight lots were then sold to form a town. Twenty people bought lots for an average of $50 an acre. The first buildings were constructed between Holland’s Store and Five Points. As the small community thrived, a name was needed for location purposes. Five Points, Five Forks, and Round Jacket were proposed. It was finally agreed to name the town for Henry Clinton Young, a lawyer from Laurensville who helped to lay out the town’s first streets. So, to honor his service, his middle name, Clinton, became the town’s name and was so entered on its first charter in 1864. Union Station was constructed in 1908 in Clinton for the CN&L Railroad.” Information from: Laurens Co Postcard Series, LCMA, Arcadia Publishing – 2007
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