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Historical marker going up Sunday at L&C Railway

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By Sherry Archie

Lancaster County is rich in history with buildings, churches and homes that have withstood the test of time. Now another local landmark is getting added to the list of local treasures.The Lancaster and Chester (L&C) Railway will proudly be recognized at 3 p.m. Sunday when a S.C. Historical Marker is dedicated and placed in front of its South Main Street depot and headquarters.The railway traces its history to 1873 when a charter was signed to from the Cheraw and Chester Railroad.However, the funds ran out before all the track could be laid. Then in 1896, a group of investors led by Col. Leroy Springs bought the existing 29-miles of track for Chester to Lancaster and renamed it the Lancaster and Chester Railway. The line is still owned by Springs Companies and has been in operation ever since.The Lancaster County Historical Commission nominated the L&C Railway for the marker. Composed of seven volunteer members representing the seven-county council districts and six, at-large, non-voting advisory members the historical commission’s focus is identifying and preserving places and things of historical significance in Lancaster County.Melody Craig, chairwoman of Lancaster County Historical Commission, said the railway surely fit that criteria, considering its commercial impact along the L&C corridor. “We felt the L&C Railway was worthy of this marker because it has played such a big role in the history of Lancaster,” she said.To secure the recognition, Craig said the commission compiled documentation about L&C and submitted to the South Carolina Archives and History for approval of the historical marker. She said approval was received without question as they realized the railway’s impact here. Steve Gedney, president of L&C Railway, couldn’t be prouder for the company to receive such recognition.“It’s a wonderful thing the historical commission has done to honor the railway,” he said. The marker will be in place forever to let people know the significance the railway brings to the area.”The dedication ceremony begins at 3 p.m. Sunday in front of the L&C Railway Depot on Main Street. U.S. Rep. Joh Spratt will be guest speaker Guests include Crandall Bowles, members of the Springs’ family and other local dignitaries.The railway museum will be open for browsers who want to learn more and the public is invited. Light refreshments will be served. “Being recognized for the role that the L&C has played in the history and growth of Lancaster and Chester is wonderful,” Gedney said.