TAPLINES

SHORTLINE, NARROW GAUGE AND INDUSTRIAL RAILROAD

PHOTOGRAPHS AND HISTORY

July of 2003                                                                                                                Number 66
All  text and images  in Taplines are copyrighted 2003 and any Commercial use is reserved and must be cleared  by written
permission by Donald R. Hensley, Jr. and/or the individual authors and/or  photographers.  Click here for terms of use.


William Monypeny visits the narrow gauge Argent Lumber Company in 1938.
by
Don Hensley

    The Argent Lumber Company was a Cypress lumber operation with a mill at Hardeville, SC. This mill was put in operation in September of 1916 with a three foot gauge logging line built north 7 miles towards Tillman, SC. By 1938 this mainline had turned west near Tillman towards the swamps bordering the Savanah River. Another mainline in 1938 turned east a few miles north of Hardeeville where it crossed the ACL above grade over extensive trestling giving this flat land swamp logger a mountain grade division that had to be double headed. This line had a branch towards Jasper, SC and another branch south of Switzerland, SC where the line crossed the Seaboard at grade to extensive logging areas east of the Seaboard. The year was a turning point for Argent as the timber was running out on its north and east mainlines. They were already at work on a new mainline that would cross the Savanah River with a center draw bridge to reach extensive cypress swamps on the west side of the river in Georgia. These new lands would give the Argent Lumber Co.  life until abandonment 20 years later in 1959.
    While William Monypeny was on one of his many railfan vacations in December of 1938 he probally accidently stumbled onto this operation while railfanning the nearby Southern Ry operations at Tillman, SC, as he mistakenly gives that town for the location of these negatives that he took with his Kodak 3A postcard film camera. You will notice that the number 6 is leading the number 2 for double heading over the ACL overpass, both have been filled with scrap wood in the tenders and are getting ready to hook onto their train of empty log cars for the run east toward Switzerland.
Argent # 2 at Hardeeville, SC in December of 1938 shows a loco
actually lettered for the Argent Lumber Co, a rarity in itself.
Baldwin c/n 28868 8/06
Photographed by Bill Monypeny in postcard format.
From the original 122 size negative in the Don Hensley Collection.

Argent # 3 at Hardeeville, SC in December of 1938 next to the engine house.
Porter c/n 3165 6/1905
Photographed by Bill Monypeny in postcard format.
From the original 122 size negative in the Don Hensley Collection.

Argent # 6 at Hardeeville, SC in December of 1938. Look closely and you
can see that this loco is still marked SS&S for the original owners, the
Surrey, Sussex & Southampton Ry. #6 after being on the Argent for 12
Years. This is the oldest of all of the 7 locos the Argent owned.
Baldwin c/n 12288 10/1891
Photographed by Bill Monypeny in postcard format.
From the original 122 size negative in the Don Hensley Collection.

All three locomotives survive to the present. # 2 and 6 at the Midwest Central RR at Mt. Pleasant, IA
# 3 at the  Forestry World Museum at Waycross, Ga

For more info see
Thomas Fetter's "Logging Railroads of South Carolina

or
Mallory Hope Ferrell's "The Last of the Swamp Rats"

Return to Tap Lines