The D. W. Alderman & Sons Company

On a recent trip to North Carolina and back to Florida, I happened to stop in a quaint town along I-95, Alcolu.

Credit is given here to Mr. Russell Harrelson of Alcolu for his generous and kind account of a "little bit of the history" of Alcolu.

Thank you Russell, for your time and for being so willing to share the history of your home town with a complete stranger!

Where in the world is Alcolu, what does the name stand for, and what is its significance?

Alcolu is a small community in southeastern South Carolina, located at the junction of I-95 and US Hwy 521. Exit 119 as of 12-2007.


The name was originated by D. W. Alderman, and was derived, as shown on the marker below.


This marker stands in front of a flag pole located to the northwest of the old general store building, and southeast of the church.

The general location of these buildings is not on Hwy 521, but are on the smaller road leading behind, or north of it.



The significance is that on August 17th 1888, Mr. D. W. Alderman established a lumber company in this location,

taking advantage, as was also the case in many other southern states, of the abundant timber resources.

The company was named D. W. Alderman & Sons Company.


These next few photo's are taken from Russell's copy of the book titled " A little history of the community of Alcolu S. C.",

written by Robert Lewis Alderman, a descendant of D. W. Alderman.

(Fla RR copyright notice is not to claim current copyright.)

The picture below is of the general layout of the lumber mill circa 1932.

In addition to the Alcolu railroad, operated by the Alderman company, the area was served by the Atlantic Coast Line railroad.

The main line through Alcolu in 2007, is CSX Transportation, as shown in current photo's made during this recent visit to the area..


The caption below reads "Alcolu locomotive #12, a 4-4-0, pauses on the single track main line with a train of three gondolas and

a string of logging cars stretching behind. The engineer, fireman and switchman, (right to left) pose for this photo taken by

Bennett Berry of Manning, South Carolina. Collection of Dr. Al B. Harley Jr."  (Note that the crew are all black gentlemen!)

Russell indicated that Alderman was well known for using qualified and motivated black men for important tasks.


The photo below, shows the large size of the mill. I did not notice the date of this photo. It was a huge operation.


The caption of the photo below reads "Alcolu Railroad's #6 sits frozen in the snow on January 31, 1936, at the

Alcolu South Carolina Mill. This 4-4-0 American was used to haul the passenger train over the line.

Photo by Robert M. Hanft, Collection of Tom Wicker."


Collection of "script" coins issued by Alderman, used for purchases in the company store.

Box car seal of the Alcolu Railroad Co.


I asked Russell if there were any old railroad buildings in the area.

He took me to this old depot building on SSR 242, see map above for location.

He said that it was not from the Alcolu area, but was moved there from the Sumpter S.C. area.

Current pictures of CSX from the Alcolu area