Central Hotel

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The Central Hotel was a multi-purpose structure, constructed of wood, located on the Main Street of Central, South Carolina. Erected concurrently with the opening of railroad service through the area in September 1873, passengers would layover here where meals were served before dining cars became common. The hotel also housed telegraph operators, railroad dispatchers, ticket office, waiting room, and a sample room where drummers could display their lines for the inspection of local merchants. "When northbound train No. 12 and southbound train No. 39 met every day at Central at 12 o'clock, the passengers alighted and were greeted by a black porter, wearing a snow white coat, ringing a large dinner bell. It was the custom after the guests were served for the waiters to pass among the tables and say 'Please, sir, will you have some more.' " (Allen, Mattie May Morgan, "Central Yesterday and Today", Faith Printing Company, Taylors, South Carolina, 1973, no Library of Congress card number, no ISBN number, page 27.)

It was also used, from time to time, for meetings of Clemson alumni, such as one gathering from Florence County on November 8, 1916. The Tiger reported that the attendees enjoyed "a splendid supper which had been prepared for them" and that "[T]he principal speech of the occasion was made by Prof. F. H. H. Calhoun of Clemson college [sic]." (The Tiger, Wednesday 15 November 1916, Volume XII, Number 6, page 3.)

The vacant Central Hotel burned to the ground on the night of June 11, 1935. The Southern Railway had been trying to sell the property for some time. ("Once Famous Hotel at Central Burns", Pickens Sentinel, 11 June 1935.)

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