Best Friend locomotive replica to be unwrapped in Summerville on way home to Charleston
SUMMERVILLE — The Best Friends gets unwrapped Monday in front of the Summerville Dorchester Museum on Doty Avenue.
Trucks hauling the locomotive, tender and passenger cars are expected to arrive at noon and set up along the downtown tracks where the train’s switching yard used to operate. The train will have been wrapped in plastic for transport.
The train could remain in town for several hours, depending on logistics and crowd, said Chris Ohm, museum director.
The Best Friend is a scale replica of the 1830s locomotive that opened regularly scheduled commercial passenger service in Charleston and the country. The original ran for six months until its boiler blew.
The replica, built in the 1920s, is owned by the city of Charleston. It’s being returned to the city after six years on loan to Norfolk Southern headquarters in Atlanta. It will be housed in a new, glass-enclosed display museum near Ann and John streets downtown, in an area known as the East Shed.
Summerville was the first depot stop for South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company trains travelling from Charleston to Aiken in the 1800s.
On Monday, “this will really be the last stop for the train,” Ohm said.
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