14 April 2013

The Eatery at the Depot - Branchville, SC

The Eatery at the Depot, Branchville, SC..

An interesting fact about Branchville is that it is the site of the oldest railroad junction in the world. The world! They celebrate the fact each year with the Raylrode Daze Festivul.  The actual depot burned but has been restored into a museum and restaurant called the Eatery at the Depot.

Branchville then became the first railroad junction in the world when the railroad company extended its rails on to Hamburg, across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia and to the north, to Orangeburg and Columbia. Both rail lines closely paralleled the Old Indian Trails. The "Best Friend," the first steam railroad in the South, if not in the United States, hauled freight and passengers over the Charleston to Hamburg line through Branchville.
To satisfy the demand, the railroad persuaded a Mr. Chatrand, operator of the tavern known as "The Branch Eating House," at the fork in the Indian trail, to move his establishment to the Branchville depot, Chatrand did so and erected the same sign used by his old establishment. But for railroad purposes, this was not satisfactory, according to old accounts. Hence, the "ville" was added to the name of "The Branch," which soon became known by its present name, "Branchville."
I've been through Branchville before but never happened to be there when the restaurant was actually open. I finally got to sit down and enjoy dinner and has a very pleasant meal. Cars were lined up and the place was quite busy so I felt lucky not to have to wait long.