Piece of History: Dovesville Depot
Our work with the Dovesville Depot has a special place in our hearts. Just a few minutes down the road from where our founder grew up in Society Hill, SC, the Depot (originally referred to as Dove’s Depot after Daniel Dove) has a rich southern history that now lives on in everything we build from the materials we carefully salvaged.
Our story with the Depot began early in 2017. 152 years earlier, the original Depot was burned by a detachment of Gen. Sherman’s Army under the command of Col. Reuben Williams. The structure we had the pleasure of working with was built shortly after the war and functioned as a busy terminal connecting what would soon be the Town of Dovesville and the Town of Cheraw.
Founded on the grounds of vast plantations extending eastward to the Pee Dee River, the Depot played an integral role in the agricultural growth of the region after the Civil War. Freight for the region was shipped to the terminal by rail and hauled out by wagons. Corn, cotton, indigo, rice and tobacco grown at Belle Acres, Cannon, Elysian Fields, Hartsville, Kalmia, Mont Clare, Oaklyn, and Plumfield Plantations regularly passed through the Depot as well. (For many years, Darlington County had the largest tobacco market in South Carolina!)
This vibrant post-war economy led to the establishment of a popular general store operated by C.H. DeLorme, the Dovesville Institute, and a Bar Room. In 1882, the Town of Dovesville was incorporated, with town limits extending one-half mile in each direction from the center of the crossing of the road leading to Smith’s Mill and the C&D Railroad. We considered every facet of this history as we approached the demolition of the structure, which had been moved to the middle of a field and left to the elements.
Over the course of two days, with Ole Lamar as our safety officer, we dismantled the Depot board by board. When the structure was no longer safe to access by hand, we hooked a Warn Industries winch to it and pulled. The roof trusses, timber (spandrel) beams, and timber posts were so large that they were not damaged in the fall.
We’ve approached every Dovesville project with creativity and intention, all the while honoring the lives and imagining the stories of those who encountered the Depot before we did. We have roughly 1/3 of the wood remaining from this historic building, so if you would like a piece of Dovesville history incorporated into your business or home, we would love to chat.