The William Aiken House and Associated Railroad Structures are nationally significant for their role in the development of the railroad industry in the United States. The railroad structures represent the best extant collection of antebellum railroad structures illustrating the development of an early railroad terminal facility. These buildings were constructed as the need for them developed. The Aiken House was the residence of William Aiken, Sr., who had a major role in the creation of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company and served as its first president. This railroad company was the first to use steam from the beginning of its operations, the first to use an American made locomotive and the first to carry the State’s mail. In addition to the original house (ca. 1807) built in the Adam tradition, the associated structures include the Camden Depot (ca. 1850), Deans Warehouse (ca. 1856), South Carolina Railroad Warehouse (ca. 1857), Tower Passenger Depot (ca. 1850), Line Street Car and Carpenter Shops (ca. 1857), the railroad right-of-way, and the “Best Friend of Charleston” steam locomotive Replica (ca. 1928). Listed in the National Register October 15, 1966; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 4, 1963.
William Aiken House and Associated Railroad Structures