McBee Railroad

McBee Library and Railroad Museum

•Airline?•

My next stop was in McBee, South Carolina. Not far from Town Hall on West Pine Avenue. That is where you can find the old railroad depot that now doubles as a library and railroad museum. Unfortunately, when I arrived it was already closed and I didn’t get to explore it in as much detail as I had hoped.
McBee Library and Railroad Museum
The first thing that I noticed when I finally found where to park was a bright red train car behind the depot. I’ve seen a lot of these all over the south. I am sure you’ve seen a few too. For whatever reason, I’ve never really paid much attention to them though. Today my attention was caught by the words “airline” on the side of the railcar. I thought it was pretty strange. Why would a railcar say that? I whipped out my smartphone and googled away.
McBee Library and Railroad Museum
It turns out that before airplanes existed it was a common saying and a way of describing the shortest distance between two places. Another phrase that you might have heard is “as the crow flies”. The idea is that an “airline” was faster than traveling on the road because it is a straight line. I thought that was pretty neat and so I made a note so I could share it with you.

•Closing Time•

After jumping around in the train car for a while I decided it was time to go see what was inside the actual train museum. Even though it was a Saturday at noon the door was locked and the museum closed. I’m not really sure why it would have been. It was the middle of the weekend. I guess the owner felt like going outside to explore too. It was a beautiful day. Either way, it didn’t look like I as going inside today.
McBee Library and Railroad Museum
It was time to get back on the road since my time in McBee had been cut short. Heading back I did notice some writing along the wall. Traces of spray paint were still easy enough to discern. Normally graffiti doesn’t bother me. I can even appreciate seeing it in abandoned buildings or sprawled along city streets. In this case, I was only saddened to see such ignorance and hate. All over the state depots have fallen into disrepair and yet here in McBee that isn’t the case. The town has put real effort into preserving their history. Overall I really thought that McBee was a charming place to live. Even if they have crazy hours at the local library.

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