Charleston Chapter History

“The Cradle of Railroading”
January 1967

        Welcome to the Charleston Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.  We are privileged to become charter members of the first NRHS chapter in our state.  We are delighted with our progress and the enthusiasm of our applicants.

         Our purpose in organizing the Charleston Chapter is to return to life the legend of the “Steam Locomotive” in all its glory.  We are a non-profit organization and, therefore, we are eligible for donations from railroad companies and other interested parties.

      The original National Railway Historical Society was established in 1935 to stimulate interest in the preservation of railway transportation, to maintain the historical information about railroading and to encourage good fellowship.  The NRHS boasts of over 2,000 members throughout the world.

         When we met to discuss the formation of a Charleston Chapter, we had a turnout of 40 enthusiastic people.  Nine members were appointed as a Board of Trustees.  The following officers were elected:

W. D. Shults
First Vice-President
and National Director

Cole D. Walters
Second Vice-President
and Legal Counsel

Louis E. Condon
Third Vice-President

Julius Wannamaker

Marion H. Walters (Mrs. C. D.)

Chanson A. Wieters

         Monthly meetings will be held the first Thursday of each month at the Charleston County Library, 405 King Street, in the Lecture Room.  The Board members will convene at 6:00 p.m. and the regular meeting will follow at 8:00 p.m.  Dues will be $10.00 per year.  This will include the $4.00 national dues.  An additional $1.00 each will include any family members over the age of 16.

     Our monthly newsletter is named THE BEST FRIEND  after the first successful steam locomotive in America, built for the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company in 1830.  The Best Friend’s first and most historical run was on Christmas Day 1830 from Charleston to Hamburg, SC, carrying Charleston’s most prominent citizens.  Charleston is “The Cradle of Railroading” because of its progressive thinking with the Best Friend of Charleston train being the first train in America to be used for regularly scheduled passenger service and, in 1833, completing the world’s longest contiguous railroad of 136 miles in length, running from Charleston to Hamburg, SC (adjacent to Augusta, GA).



January 1967
Marion H. Walters
Sharon E. Walters