Charleston Chapter NRHS

P A G E   U N D E R   C O N S T R U C T I O N


Chapter Officers:

President Art Giardino
Vice President Peter Buhl
Secretary/Treasurer Mary Lehr
National Representative  Art Giardino

Chaplain/Historian Alex McIntosh 


1927 Baldwin engine, Hampton and Branchville, Steam Engine #44

1927 Baldwin engine, Hampton and Branchville, Steam Engine #44

          The Chapter’s activities include promoting awareness of the history of railway transportation, participating in activities related to the Best Friend of Charleston (including its preservation and the preservation of Southern Railway artifacts displayed in the Best Friend Museum), excursions, visiting other museums and helping with the functions of the South Carolina Railroad Museum that is located near Winnsboro, SC on the former Rockton & Rion trackage. The CCNRHS were the founding fathers of the SCRM and furnished much of the rolling stock to SCRM, including a dining car and the 1927 Baldwin and Branchville, Steam Engine #44 that SCRM at one time operated.

CCNRHS Mailing Address:
 1371 Southlake Drive
Mt. Pleasant SC  29464
CCNRHS E-mail:           
CCNRHS Membership:   Membership Application: Over 1900 NRHS members worldwide.  More than 170 Chapters.  Established in 1935.  NRHS membership dues for the current year are $50 with additional family members at $7 each.  The local Charleston Chapter dues are $20 with additional family members at $5 each.  Those who are already a member of the NRHS may join the Charleston Chapter.  Local dues may be made payable to the Charleston Chapter NRHS and mailed to the Chapter address listed above.  We welcome all interested individuals and we encouraged you to join us in our efforts to promote and preserve the history of transportation.

CCNRHS Donations:        The CCNRHS is a 501-C organization and all donations may be claimed as a tax deduction.
CCNRHS Meetings:    

                                       THE CHARLESTON CHAPTER NRHS MEETING SCHEDULE IN 2020:


1830 – West Point Foundry Locomotive 0-4-0

Frederick W. Bartlett II


This beautiful lithograph by Frederick W. Bartlett comes to us by way of Boulder, Colorado.  Janis Tennery’s mother, Elizabeth Hopkins Coleman, loved trains and this was found among her collections.  It was donated to us on her behalf.  We extend our appreciation for this work of art.

We are proud to have this lithograph and  to learn of this interesting artist.   Frederick W. Bartlett II is said to have “displayed his work at some of the best art shows east of the Mississippi. With his extensive travel, his interests expanded from the mining industry into railroads, grist mills, aircraft, petroleum, and maritime industries. He even dabbled in Rube Goldbergesque impossible inventions with a humorous touch and an executive coloring book featuring numerous trains.”






We are indebted to the son of Carl W. Schmidt, Jr. for the photos displayed below.  When  Tom Schmidt of Smyrna, TN, read Kevin Keefe’s blog in Classic Trains about his visit to the Best Friend Train Museum, he contacted us to share the photos that his father took while he was assigned to the U. S. Coast Guard Base in Charleston from 1943 to 1947.  Tom and his 3 sisters were all born at the old Navy Yard Hospital during that time.

Carl Schmidt served in the USCG for 21 years and during his time in Tampa/St. Petersburg he was an NRHS member.  We are pleased to have these old photos and now the guessing game begins to decide where the train was housed in 1943.  Do the arches give anyone a clue?




The Charleston Chapter NRHS will miss their long time Chapter Historian, Pete Stabovitz, who passed away on December 24, 2019.  Pete has been a member of NRHS since 1986 and he has supported our Chapter through its many projects over the years, including our campaign for the establishment of the Best Friend Train Museum to house our 1830’s steam locomotive.  Pete often gave talks at our gatherings in the Best Friend Park when we would place the train on display for public viewings.  He knew a lot about trains and even bought a passenger car in the mid 1900’s with dreams of using it as a residence.  Pete loved trains and the National Railway Historical Society and the South Carolina Railroad Museum.

Pete is responsible for bringing our Chapter into the computer age by establishing our current website  He fought tirelessly to bring us up to date on things like jpeg and pdf and email.  At that time, we didn’t know .com from .net or .org.  We were bored by such concepts, but Pete won and we now think we are up to date but, with Pete gone, we may miss some of the new technology that comes along.  He will certainly be missed and he will be in our memories.


The end of the year, the end of the decade, the end of the line.  May his last signal be high green.  We’ve lost a wealth of rail (and Navy Yard) experience, history and knowledge.  Pete’s rambling rail memories will be missed.




Great News.

Some of you will be interested in two new books on “Carolinas Short Lines In Color” Volume 1 and Volume 2.  They are by Gary Carlson of Pittsboro, NC and published by Morning Sun.  They are pricey at about $60, and $70, but they ship FREE in the USA.

I just got Volume 2 and was so impressed, I ordered Volume 1 this morning.  Morning Sun Books , Inc is in New Jersey and accessible with an internet search.

These are “Traditional Shortlines of the Carolinas 1950 to 1980”.

Vol 2 has Greenville & Northern Railway, Hampton & Branchville Railroad, High Point, Randleman, Asheboro & Southern RR, High Point, Thomasville & Denton, Lancaster & Chester Railway, Laurenburg & Southern, Pickens RR, Piedmont & Northern Rwy, Rockingham RR, Rockton -Rion Rwy, SC Public Railways, Virginia & Carolina Southern RR, Ware Shoals RR, Warrenton RR, Wilmington Terminal RR, Winston Salem Southbound RWY, Yadkin RR, and Yancey RR.  [N.C. lines]

While the color photos date to the period of 1950 to 1980, they are EXCELLENT and not to be found in any other publication.   I noted, however, that the text for each line drops back to the original line and in general discusses the railroad through the overall time from the 1880’s to near the current day.

Since the Transylvania RR was gone, the author did not include the Southern Railway branch from Hendersonville west to Rosman.  (A mistake, I think, but it is not included.)

Volume 1 has a similar listing of short lines from A to G.

The Greenville & Northern section is spread over 7 pages: with text back to the Greenville & Port Royal and on to the Greenville & Western to the G&N on Page 9.  Page 10 has a color photo of steam locomotive #15 in color, and diesel #70; Page 11 has #78, G&N 70 and 9; and 75 & 70. Page 12 has #9 and #70 in Travelers Rest, crossing the P&N; and an the engine house in Greenville;  Page 13 has G&N #9 at the shop, and #70 at Travelers Rest.   Page 14 has #9 at Travelers Rest, Engineer Bill Leo, and boxcar #8134 at a customers plant.  Page 15 has #70 leaving Greenville with boxcar #8014, G&N #1 in 1992 at Greenville; and G&N Rwy #704 at Travelers Rest (but actually South Carolina Central RR-Carolina Piedmont Division (new owner).

The Yancey may appeal to Transylvanians as it ran west from the Clinchfield RR at Kona to Micaville and Bowditch and west to Burnsville, Vixen, Pensacola, Murcheson and Eskota.  All of this east of Asheville and on west side of Mount Mitchell.  Three locomotive photos plus photos of freights and tourist trains,  a caboose and the final run in April of 1984.

All in all, impressive and informative material, outstanding considering the color photos of lines, nearly all gone.  The Lancaster & Chester is still active and added trackage North & South out of Lancaster to serve an area that was being abandoned, until saved by purchase.  Pages 121 to 127.

I have no connection with the publisher, but having had seven books released in Black & White by five publishers, I recognize a grandstand when I see one.   [My books predate color photography.)

CCNRHS Archives: 


ACL Seniority List of Conductors 1885-1911
Best Friend Blueprints
Best Friend Models
Best Friend Newsletter 1967 – 1999
Best Friend Poems and The Best Friend Children’s Book
Captain John M. LeCato Memorial
Charleston Chapter Charter Members
Charleston Chapter History


Ezra L. Miller . his patents his suicide . his great niece’s correspondence . responses
Enterprise Railroad Company
Personalities . The Gray Bros .  Colonel Elliott Springs . Joshua Lionel Cohen .
Pictures and Articles . Baber . Ben Baldwin at RailCamp . “Deezel” . Dotterer Fetters’ Letters .LeCato . Ravenel I D Smith . John Smith . Stabovitz
Photographs and Drawings of the Best Friend of Charleston
Photographs of SC RR Stations and other Photograph Collections . Stations . Cars . Trains 
Miniature Trains RR Safety Posters Charleston Storm of 1911 . RR Gazette 1874 . Album of New York. Price’s Wharf
Railway Mail Service Library

Railroad Information Reference Data (RRIRD)



      Do you have a “Friend”ly Face?  Have you had your picture taken with the Best Friend of Charleston? Follow this link and see if your picture is included or send us a photo from your train visit and be a “Friend”ly Face on our website.  We have photographs from: