CENTRAL, S.C. (WSPA) – The railroad is an important part of Central’s history. In fact, it helped Central get its name when the tracks were laid in 1873 and later established as a town in 1875.
“We were told that we are halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte,” former fire chief and longtime resident John Head said. “I was told that’s how you get the name.”
Cotton Mills also helped with Central’s growth and a lot of the people that lived in Central worked at the mills.
“To get one of the houses you worked there. You quit your job, you quit your house,” Head explained.
Former Chief Head worked at the mill, but spent a lot of his time with the fire department and helped battle some of the fires that plagued Central.
One in particular claimed the lives of two students at Central Weslyn University in 1962.
Head said back then, they didn’t have anything to fight those fires, but as the crews and city grew, so did their resources.
“We just had to step up and be prepared for the next one.”
While Head holds a lot of the stories of Central, physical pieces of Central’s history can be found at Collins Ole Towne.
For example, a church that stands there has windows from back in the day.
Co-owner of Collins Ole Towne Marshall Collins said, “The windows came from the previous First Baptist Church.”
The buildings in Collins Ole Towne transport you back to the 1930s and each were constructed by Marshall’s late father Roy.
“We jokingly tell people he built the church around the windows.”
Each building holds something it was built around, like the old desks in the schoolhouse, or the old cast iron stove in the basement of the Inn and just about anything in the General Store.
“And on the other side of the general store, there’s a two-light stop light,” Collins said. “We were always told that it’s the first stop light in Central.”
Learn more about our special guest:
- Central Parks & Recreation Department
- First Responder Friday: Central FD, PD
- Bee’s Knees Toys & Books
- Central Academy of the Arts
- Central-Clemson Recreation Center
- Central Railway Museum
- Central Sweets
- Crossfit Epoch
- Daniel High School
- Daniel High School Football
- Central Roller Mills
- Southern Wesleyan University
- Urban Central