THE OLD BRANCHVILLE, SC, SOUTHERN RAILROAD FREIGHT DEPOT IS IN RUINS!!!
No, it was not the results of the invading firebrands of General Sherman from the North. But, it resulted from decades of neglect and natures elements of rail, snow, sleet, ice, and very high winds most recently.
This was not the original freight depot on the old South Carolina Canal & Railway Company's railroad line, but one that replaced the original when it became to small the handle the booming cotton industry in the Orangeburg County region of the South Carolina Lowcountry. At that time, the Branchville Town Council petitioned the S.C. State Legislature to prevail upon the Railroad Company to build a new and larger freight depot and to at the same time renovate and expand the nearby Branchville Railroad Passenger Depot.
Over time, both of these demands of the South Carolina Canal & Railway Company, or it's succdessor -- The Southern Railway Company -- were accepted. And it was the new and enlarged Branchville Freight Depot which has now become ancient and worn out.
It is way past due, but The Town of Branchville has now begun efforts to restore the Old Branchville Freight Depot to, at least, some semblence of its former utilitarian glory. But, it never was intended to compete with Branchville's "CROWN JEWEL" -- THE BRANCHVILLE RAILROAD SHRINE AND DEPOT MUSEUM.
Just after Thanksgiving -- 2007, the restoration efforts began in Branchville. After the Town of Branchville's Town Council & Mayor put out for bids the construction contract, all bids were deemed to far above the required amount. Because there in not enough monies on hand for a complete restoration. So, this resulted in the contracting of a company who agreed to provide restorative work not to exceed the on hand monies for that purpose.
The problem with that method it that there was no bidding allowed on the new criteria.
And it seems that the reason that the costs are somewhat lower now, is that alien labor is being employed to renew the old freight depot. It is a mixed blessing, so to speak.
Many citizens in America during these days of concern over security, see the mass invasion of our homeland by illegal aliens across our unguarded borders as a potential threat.
Therefore, the sight of seeing those who seem to be from South of Our Borders providing the work on the old freight depot was somewhat disconcerting. And the questions which naturally arose included: "Are those aliens???", and "Are they illegal aliens???"
We are sure that the answers will eventually be given to the citizens of Branchville