Charleston Chapter Artifacts


          The Best Friend Museum was a joint endeavor of  the Charleston Chapter  of the National Railway Historical Society and the City of Charleston.  While open, the museum displayed the artifacts that are listed below.  Upon the closing of the museum in 2000, the artifacts were placed in storage with the Best Friend train in the Engine House that was built in the space between the Camden Station and the William Aiken House that are depicted in the drawing below.   William Aiken was the first President of the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company.  The William Aiken House was the home of  the museum and  the Southern Railway offices.  The  Camden Tower that is drawn below is now the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.

        The artifacts listed herein belonged to the Charleston Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.  Those items listed as ACL related have been donated to the Ravenel Depot in Ravenel  SC.  In September 2007 artifacts specifically related to Southern Railway were placed on temporary loan to Norfolk Southern for use with the Best Friend train while it is displayed in the lobby of their Atlanta GA headquarters at 1600 Peachtree Street.  Various steam locomotive tools were previously loaned to Norfolk Southern in December 2005 for temporary display at their Museum in Norfolk VA.  Following the return of the train to Charleston for permanent display on John Street, hopefully these artifacts will be displayed with the train in Charleston.

                                                         * NRHS Christmas Series – No. 6 – 1970 – drawing by Joseph M. Mannix



Watson Stillman NY 15-jack Wrench for steam engine
Old rails Coupling *
Appleton car mover * (Pinch hinge)
Steam whistle
Lanterns – *
Switch box – RR name on it
        Red Globe Switch *
        Base lantern SCCRR steps (2) *
        Caboose lantern Typewriter
        Southern lantern (flashlight) 1950-60 Station agent box
        4-sided lantern – electrified Conductor’s box
        Lantern for mounting on train (3) Freight pads (2)
        Adlake Lantern No 31F
Brake pad and Air brake gauge with valve
Floor and shelf display cases Brass bell
Cubbyholes from train yard Shovel *
Conductor’s hand-held ticket punch Fire bucket
Leather moneybag Wheel – motor car
Canvas mail bag Large oil can *
Wheel – motor car Oil cans – small *
Tools for steam locomotive *
Spike maul (Go Devil) donated by Francis Wofford
2 Southern Railway Hand Trucks  and 1 Southern Railway Scale No. P-2096 (donated by Ms. Doris Ferguson)
* on loan to Norfolk Southern                                                                                     

Interior of Best Friend Museum about 1970 at William Aiken House.
(Photo courtesy of Mike Young)


Engineer Field Manuel  1918
Progressive Air Brake Assoc /Westinghouse and New York Systems  1905   (private CCNRHS collection)
Assoc of American RR Operations and Maintenance Dept Mech Div Interchange Rules  1959 and 1960
Southern Railway Company – Rules  November 15, 1899  Frank S. Gannon  (private CCNRHS collection)
No.6  ET Locomotive Brake Equipment  Westinghouse Air Brake Co.  June 1913  (private CCNRHS collection)
Southern Railroad Discipline Journal  1920 – 1947  Record of telegraphers and agents
Southern Railroad Discipline Journal  1947 – 1964  Record of supervisory officers, roadway and b&b foremen and clerks
99 Years of Progress    Pamphlet by Southern Railway System,  donated by J F Fly family of Memphis, TN, belonged to relative,W H Gatchell, a Southern officer in 1940’s
The Visitor Reception & Transportation Center –  Opening Ceremonies   May 13, 1991, many photos of old RR buildings before renovation , 1917 Carpentry Shop; Blacksmith Shop, 1917; Camden Tower, 1925; Tower Depot Building, 1925; Freight Station, 1917; Shop Building, 1929;  and Visitor Center interior during renovation
SCRM NEWS  photo of Best Friend  in 1985 at Hwy 34 crossing
Ties Magazine  June 1955, with cover of Best Friend  and Gov Byrnes and  J R Brosnan, article about Centennial Celebration
The Second Diesel Spotter’s Guide  1973 by Jerry A. Pinkepank



OO gauge – NY Central Hudson
O gauge 1981 boxcar – new product Lionel
Trolleys OO gauge  (Moale collection)
Railroad Jack
Bronze Best Friend model presented to travelers in 1927
Control for model train
SCRR trains – HO scale
Battery operated G gauge locomotive


Pen and Ink of Branchville, signed by P Walter Platt
Lithograph – “The General”



Police Dept – ACL – 1940  (private CCHRHS collection)
Central of GA RR Presidents – 1969
Southern RR system safety contest, Chas Div – 1960



West VA Pulp and Paper – 1946
Ichnography of Chas
Journals of Southern RR
Supervisor’s log – telegraph log
Blue prints of  Charleston Connector 17 & 52, sheets 3 & 4 & 5, January 1953



Plates –
Commemorative plates
Homer Laughlin China Co – E. Liverpool, OH – 1903 – Order of RR Conductors
Envelopes and stamps
33 1/3 record – BF and other locomotive sounds



SCRR 1848 decorative downspout boxes (2)
Charleston NRHS Drum
General assembly act forming company to construct RR – Dec 1827*
Pullman Silver creamer
Keys and locks
Letter to H P Edwards dated May 28, 1912
Historical Marker *
Blackville sign
FA East Coast sign
* Loaned to Norfolk Southern


Port Royal Station
Ladson Station
Myrtle Beach Station
Yemassee Station
McCormick Station
Union Station
Mile Marker 125
Eastern line – Southern RR
Large Photo No 44
King Geo V locomotive No 6000
Great Western RR No 4006
Locomotive No 3526
Photos of excavation of original tracks
Negative of Best Friendon Luke Street
in Summerville
Aerial Photo Cooper River Bridge
and RR tracks  (private CCNRHS collection)
                                                                         BUILDER’S PHOTOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

AT&SF 3465                                                           Abilene and Southern 20                     Central America                             Kirin Hailung 204
Lehigh Valley 5126                                                 Alaska Railroad 3
                                  Central Trinidad 4                          Kirin Hailung 302
Maine Central 701                                                  
Amaga 4                                                  Central Punta Alegre 11               Lackawanna 402
American Loco Co S-1734                    Compana Azucarera Luando 2    Lackawanna 1621
LOCOMOTIVE FEEDWATER HEATER          American Loco Co 600                         C de P 1                                           Maine Central 601
Ann Arbor RR Co 2400                                         American Loco Co 601                          Central Estrada Palma 2               MichiganLimestone101
AT&SF3189                                                            American Loco Co 301                          Cuba 350                                        Mexicano 131 
Kansas City Southern Rwy 900                           Amtorg Trading Co T-1000                  
Carril Cerro De Pasco 3                Missouri Pacific 1483
Norfolk Western Rwy Co 1200                            Bangor & Argostock 404                      Carril de Antioquia 39                  
Minn St P & SSM 4012
Seaboard Air Line Rwy 250                                  Belt Rwy Co of Chicagoi 300                Carril de Trujillo 20                       New York Central 800
Southern Pacific Lines 4410                                 Bessemer & Lake Erie 625                     
Carril Del Pacifico Nicaragua 27  NY Chicago St Lo 173
Birmingham Southern 81(2 views)       Carril Del Pacifico Nicaragua 27  New York Central 1525 
MUSEUM DI RODO                                             Boston & Maine 1102                            Delaware & Hudson 1402            New York Ctrl 7530    
Various postcards                                                 Columbia Railways & Navigation 19    E F Sorocabana 1096                    New Haven 0900 
                                                                                 Central Unidad 1                                       Fajardo Dev Co 8                         N de M 179 
MONTREAL LOCOMOTIVE WORKS           C&O 494                                                   Green Bay & Western 49            P&BR 54
Canadian National 5700                                        C&O 1119                                                 
Jay Street Conn RR 300               So Pacific Lines 5000   
Canadian National 6151                                         Central Do Piauhy Brazil 5                     Jefferson Southwestern RR 52  So Shore & Atl 91 
Canadian Pacific 3002                                            Chiriqui Ry Co 1                                                                                              Standard Fruit RR 39
Canadian Pacific 5905                                            Cumberland & Manchester 61 (Harry Wardman)                                      Toledo Angola&W100

Trinidad Sugar Co 1
Trujillo Ry of Peru 15
Union Pacific 825
Union Pacific 806
Union pacific 3938
Union Pacific 7869
Union Pacific 8800
US Naval Ammunition Depot Mare Island 4
US Navy 5
USINA Junquera 5
Virginian 210
WR Grace & Co 6


Teletype Machine  No. 115666
Vibroplex  Telegraph Key Sounder  No. 102837
Cast iron melting pan – ACL  name in raised letters
Desktop ticket validator – ACL name shown on stamp template
Keys and locks with ACL name
Hand held ticket punch
Ashtray with ACL logo
Measuring tape in leather recoil case
ACL Conductor’s uniform – all buttons intact
Seaboard Conductor’s uniform – all buttons intact
Seaboard metal sign
** Donated to Town of Ravenel


 81  Loco picture
85  Metal sign/black sign/wicker duster
86  Picture B&O loco along C&O Canal right of way
96  Journals of Southern RR
480 Supervisor’s Log – Telegraph Log



3/4 inch per foot scale
Constructed almost entirely by hand by the late Mr. G. Ernest Daniell, a master machinist at the Charleston Naval  Shipyard
Powered by live steam
Instead of  coal or wood, boiler fired by propane from a tank car
3 feet long, 30 lbs

                                                                                                         º photo courtesy of Kenneth Donaldson 

Mr. Daniell and his wife are shown riding on  the steam locomotive he built.  It is believed that this Cole Compound
represents his only railroad model.  He built several other live steam models in his home workshop.  Among these
was a corliss stationary engine and a triple expansion marine engine.


Pictured below is the Garden Train donated to the Charleston Chapter in the memory of Margaret Braden, mother of Frank Braden.  The train was often seen running
around the summer residence of the Braden family on Folly Beach.