•Depots & Trestles•
Today I’m sharing some photos of Mullins, South Carolina. This small town was once the biggest distributor of tobacco in the entire country. Beginning in the year 1894 Mullins began to rapidly develop thanks to the sale of tobacco. At one time Mullins was even known as “South Carolina’s Largest, The world’s best tobacco market.” The sales were so good that by the late 1920s the city started its annual tobacco festival that still goes on today.
Another fun fact, the train depot in downtowns Mullins doubles as the South Carolina Tobacco Museum as well. It is full of a variety of exhibits that show what life was like before the 1950s. The depot itself was built in 1901 and has a very nice fountain and small garden in front too. Really, this whole town sprung up around the railroad. Not something that is infrequent throughout the state in general.
When Mullins was first built it had only 3 stores and 4 dirt roads. The whole town was named after the guy who helped get the railroad built, Mr. William Sidney Mullins. I’m going to sidetrack for a moment here and talk about this guy. I really found the founder’s history is worth noting while talking about this interesting area.
Mr. Mullins was a Sargeant in the Civil War and fought in The Battle of Bull Run. He was briefly the President of the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad. He managed to get elected to the SC House of Representatives, was a farmer/planter, and also got elected to State Senate. So yeah, this guy had a pretty busy life. I’m lucky if I can manage to remember to pick up milk. Guess that is why no one has named a town after me yet.
Tobacco is how Mullins got on the map. Just between the years 1910 to 1921 seven millionaires were born thanks to how lucrative the crop had become. Several huge warehouses were built for storing and drying tobacco. Even though the production of tobacco has fallen, it is still a small, but important crop in the state.