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with our digital archives!
As the town of Branchville gears up for the
Raylrode Daze Festivul, take a look at some
pictures from the first festivul in September of 1969.

Branchville Whing-Ding Looks Like Sure Thing –
Sleepy Little Town Alive and Thriving
An estimated 7,500 persons jammed
this small Orangeburg County town
Saturday to participate in the first annual
Raylrode Daze Festivul. Town officials
and organizers of the event were more
than slightly astonished at the success
of the two day event designed to give a
boost to the town’s economy and future.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Mayor Leonard Hutto as he watched crowds swarm-

ing over the main street of the town.
The festival was planned around the
town’s railroad history, since the world’s
first railroad junction was established in
the town in the early 1830’s.
The colorful affair was a swirl of vivid
costumes ranging from hobo outfits to
the velvet coats of the dandy. Antique
vehicles vied for maneuvering room with
mules, horses, modern automobiles and

Original Crosstie – U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond presented a piece of an original crosstie from the S.C. Railroad and Canal Company line, dating from 1833, to the Branchville
Railroad Museum.

U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond and
his wife were in Branchville for the festival and spent almost the entire day taking in the sights. The senator participated in a dedicatory service three-quarters
of a mile west of town where a marker
commemorating the first settlement of
the town of Branchville was emplaced.
Thurmond addressed the crowd saying, “I’m proud that we in South Carolina honor our past and keep our history
vibrant and alive before our descendants.
We can only go forward if we keep our
proud past as a firm foundation to build
for the future.”

Gunpoint Donations – It was legalized banditry in Branchville as
a band of “desperados” marched Mayor Leonard Hutto, center,
up and down the street at the point of guns collecting “willing”
donations to the town’s museum from male visitors.

A Town Alive – Branchville was a town alive and hopping as a crowd estimated to number over 7,500 swarmed
into the town for the first annual Raylrode Daze Festivul. There was no parking space and little walking room at
the Railroad Museum when the steam locomotive excursion train from Charleston pulled into town.

149 Centre Street • P.O. Box 844 • Orangeburg, S.C. 29116-0844

Gerald J. davis, attorney

803•531•3888 • FAX (803) 531-3322


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