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Wedding & Event Venue Near Bennetsville, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Bennetsville, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Bennetsville, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Bennetsville native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Bennetsville, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Bennetsville, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Bennetsville, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Bennetsville, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Bennetsville, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Bennetsville's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Bennetsville.

 Wedding Venue Bennetsville, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Bennetsville?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Bennetsville, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Bennetsville, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Bennetsville, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Bennetsville, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Bennetsville, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Bennetsville, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Bennetsville, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Bennetsville, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Bennetsville, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Latest News in Bennetsville, SC

Santa, bring me an interstate to the beach

Yes, when I was a kid there was something better than Christmas. Then, we kids would get a good Christmas present, maybe something as big-ticket as a tricycle or bicycle.But for my money better than Christmas were summer trips to the beach. On the third week of July, the hottest week of the year, Chatham Mill would close for a week to cool off, and much of Elkin, it seemed, would congregate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.However, the auto trips there were torturous for us kids. Six hours in our Chevy’s uncomfortable bench back seat...

Yes, when I was a kid there was something better than Christmas. Then, we kids would get a good Christmas present, maybe something as big-ticket as a tricycle or bicycle.

But for my money better than Christmas were summer trips to the beach. On the third week of July, the hottest week of the year, Chatham Mill would close for a week to cool off, and much of Elkin, it seemed, would congregate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

However, the auto trips there were torturous for us kids. Six hours in our Chevy’s uncomfortable bench back seat. You could try lying down, but along bouncy two-lane roads (in 1960 we took Highway 601) you’d toss around and overheat (no air-conditioning then, only open car windows) and see hours and hours of monotonous fields and forests and no welcoming blue water.

Lots of things have improved since those ancient days – better hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping – but not that long car ride. The interstate highway system, begun in the 1950s, somehow has managed to ignore Myrtle Beach. We have plenty of the expressways now in North Carolina, but crossing the state line into South Carolina still jams us onto less-than-optimal roads. Even though it’s the 21st Century, you still have to navigate a two-lane road or two to get to the Grand Strand.

Now, as we here in the hometown are beginning to talk about summer vacations, the Sandlappers are promising to do something about the road to the beach.

They’ve been trying for 20 years now in South Carolina to extend I-73 from the North Carolina line near Rockingham past Bennettsville, S.C., through Marion and on to Myrtle at Briarcliffe Acres.

The project has been tied up for too many years by funding shortfalls and pitfalls and by environmental challenges that focused on the potential destruction of wetlands along the proposed route. A federal lawsuit by environmentalists that had been holding up the interstate project got dismissed last September.

Myrtle Beach is America’s largest resort without interstate access. I-73 there would attract an extra two million a year, they say, and improve evacuations for hurricanes.

“We’ve been asking for this road for years. A lot of pieces have come together in the past couple of years,” said Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

The South Carolina governor last fall asked the state legislature for $300 million of American Rescue Plan funds (COVID money?!) for the interstate, followed by the Myrtle and North Myrtle town boards in December pitching in nearly $6 million. (Wondering why your room rates are going up?) In March the federal government pitched in another $15 million.

“This can change the face of Horry County,” where Myrtle is located, boasted county board member Gregg Smith.

Total highway cost estimates have reached upward of $2 billion. Construction is expected by 2025, if South Carolina this year can raise all of the money. Let’s see if they can put their money where their mouths are.

A favorite topic here in the hometown when I was a kid was which route was best for the beach. I still like I-77 to Rock Hill, S.C., on the other side of Charlotte, then take a pretty countryside jaunt through the interior of South Carolina – with a pit stop at a favorite peach orchard for homemade peach ice cream. But only try the run midday, avoiding Charlotte rush-hour traffic and slow logging trucks in S.C. Google Maps claims it’s 3 miles shorter than the Rockingham route.

But South Carolina could change my mind if the southerners can just build that doggone interstate to the beach, with no stop signs, traffic lights or 55- and 45-mph speed limits (watch out for that speed trap in McBee).

We’d lose all of those fun hometown debates, though, about which route is best to the beach. Bummer? No.

So get on the internet and people-watch on the popular Myrtle Beach Pavilion-site webcam (address: https://www.earthcam.com/usa/southcarolina/myrtlebeach/?cam=myrtlebeach_hd – there are other webcams, too), watch and listen to the Myrtle-going Kenny Chesney’s “Anything But Mine” music video – filmed at the old Pavilion – and dream of express driving to the beach. “And we’ll have fun fun fun,” as the Beach Boys once sang.

Stephen Harris returned home to live in State Road.

Southern Baptist secret accused abuser list included these NC, SC people

The complete list includes more than 700 entries from cases that largely span from 2000 to 2019 in a church that has a membership of over 47,000 churches.CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In response to an explosive investigation, top Southern Baptists have released a previously secret list of hundreds of pastors and other church-affiliated personnel accused of...

The complete list includes more than 700 entries from cases that largely span from 2000 to 2019 in a church that has a membership of over 47,000 churches.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In response to an explosive investigation, top Southern Baptists have released a previously secret list of hundreds of pastors and other church-affiliated personnel accused of sexual abuse.

The 205-page database was made public late Thursday. It includes more than 700 entries from cases that largely span from 2000 to 2019 within the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

Its existence became widely known Sunday when the independent firm, Guidepost Solutions, included it in its bombshell report detailing how the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee mishandled allegations of sex abuse, stonewalled numerous survivors and prioritized protecting the SBC from liability.

Executive Committee leaders Rolland Slade and Willie McLaurin, in a joint statement, called publishing the list “an initial, but important, step towards addressing the scourge of sexual abuse and implementing reform in the Convention."

“Each entry in this list reminds us of the devastation and destruction brought about by sexual abuse,” they said. “Our prayer is that the survivors of these heinous acts find hope and healing, and that churches will utilize this list proactively to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us.”

The Guidepost report, released after a seven-month investigation, contained several explosive revelations. Among them: D. August Boto, the committee's former vice president and general counsel, and former SBC spokesman Roger Oldham kept their own private list of abusive ministers. Both retired in 2019. The existence of the list was not widely known within the committee and its staff.

“Despite collecting these reports for more than 10 years, there is no indication that (Oldham and Boto) or anyone else, took any action to ensure that the accused ministers were no longer in positions of power at SBC churches,” the report said.

The Executive Committee did not make additions to the published list, but their attorneys did redact several entries as well as the names and identifying information of survivors and others unrelated to the accused, Thursday's joint statement said.

The Sexual Abuse Task Force, appointed at the demand of SBC delegates during last year's meeting in Nashville, expects to make its formal motions based on the Guidepost report public next week. Those recommendations will then be presented to the delegates for a vote during this year's national meeting scheduled for June 14-15 in Anaheim, California, according to Pastor Bruce Frank who led the task force.

Frank, lead pastor of Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden, North Carolina, said the crux of the task force’s recommendations based on Guidepost’s report would be to prevent sexual abuse, to better care for survivors when such abuse does occur and to make sure abusers are not allowed to continue in ministry.

In reviewing the list, WCNC Charlotte compiled the following list of religious organizations, pastors and other church-affiliated personnel accused of sexual abuse who had connections to the Carolinas when the reported crimes were committed, according to the now-public list. Not all people listed below are directly under the SBC, some are Baptist, Free Will Baptist or similar groups.

A hotline maintained by Guidepost has been opened for survivors or their loved ones to report abuse allegations at 202-864-5578 or SBChotline@guidepostsolutions.com.

The firm said callers will be provided with support options and connected with advocates.

It said the hotline was created as a "stopgap measure for survivors" until an SBC annual meeting in Anaheim, California, in June can "pass even more meaningful reforms."

NBC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you. Send your tips or questions to newstips@wcnc.com.

Southern Railway history remembered

Classic Trains editors celebrate the heritage of the Southern Railway in June 2022Southern Railway history: The earliest portion of the Southern Railway was the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company, which was chartered in 1828 to build from Charleston, S. C., to Hamburg, S. C., on the north bank of the Savannah River. Its purpose was to bring trade to the port of Charleston from inland points and divert trade that would otherwise move down the Savannah River to the port of Savannah, Ga. When the 136-mile line ...

Classic Trains editors celebrate the heritage of the Southern Railway in June 2022

Southern Railway history: The earliest portion of the Southern Railway was the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company, which was chartered in 1828 to build from Charleston, S. C., to Hamburg, S. C., on the north bank of the Savannah River. Its purpose was to bring trade to the port of Charleston from inland points and divert trade that would otherwise move down the Savannah River to the port of Savannah, Ga. When the 136-mile line opened in 1833, it was the longest railroad in the world. By 1857 it was part of a line from Charleston to Memphis, Tenn.—at the time the longest connected system of railroads in the world. (Two of the railroads involved, the Georgia Railroad and the Western & Atlantic, are now part of CSX Transportation.)

The Southern Railway system, like many other railroads, grew by merger and acquisition, and the components retained their identities and corporate structure long after most other roads had absorbed their subsidiaries.

The Richmond & Danville Railroad was the nucleus of the Southern Railway. It was chartered in 1847 and completed in 1856 from Richmond, Va., west 141 miles to Danville, Va. Its charter allowed it to acquire and control only railroads with which it connected directly. In 1880 interests connected with the R&D incorporated the Richmond & West Point Terminal Railway & Warehouse Co. (“Richmond Terminal”) to acquire railroads that did not connect directly with the R&D. The majority owners of the R&D and the Richmond Terminal decided the existence of the Richmond Terminal was unnecessary (by then, the R&D’s charter had been amended) and in 1886 leased the railroads controlled by the Richmond Terminal to the Richmond & Danville; then the Richmond Terminal acquired the Richmond & Danville.

In 1863 the R&D purchased a majority of the stock of the Piedmont Railroad, under construction from Danville to Greensboro, N. C. The line opened in 1864, and the R&D leased it in 1866. In 1871 the R&D leased the North Carolina Railroad, which was opened in 1856 from Goldsboro through Greensboro to Charlotte.

The R&D contracted to construct the Northwestern Railroad of North Carolina from Greensboro to Salem, and assisted the Atlanta & Richmond Air-Line Railroad with the construction of its line between Atlanta and Charlotte.

Both those routes were opened in 1873. The Atlanta & Charlotte Air-Line Railway was organized in 1877 as the successor to the Atlanta & Richmond. It was leased to the Richmond & Danville in 1881. In 1881 the R&D purchased the Virginia Midland Railway from the Baltimore & Ohio to get a direct Danville–Washington route about 20 miles shorter than the route through Richmond. The Virginia Midland had begun as the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, opened from Alexandria, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D. C., southwest to Gordonsville, in 1854. Through trackage rights on a C&O predecessor and further construction, it reached Lynchburg in 1860. It came under control of the state of Virginia in 1867, and in 1872 the Virginia & North Carolina Railroad was organized to consolidate the Orange, Alexandria & Manassas Gap (successor to the O&A) and the Lynchburg & Danville Railroad, under construction between the cities of its name. The Baltimore & Ohio obtained control and named it the Washington City, Virginia Midland & Great Southern Railroad. The extension to Danville was completed in 1874, and in 1880, a cutoff from Orange to Charlottesville was opened. The company was reorganized as the Virginia Midland Railway in 1881.

In 1886 the R&D leased the Western North Carolina Railroad, which had been constructed from Salisbury west through Old Fort (1869) and Asheville (1879) to a connection at the Tennessee state line with the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia.

The Georgia Pacific Railway was chartered in 1881 to build a from Atlanta to a connection with the Texas & Pacific at Texarkana. It was opened as far as Columbus, Miss., in 1887. It was leased to the Richmond & Danville in January 1889, shortly before it completed its line as far as the Mississippi River at Greenville, Miss. The Mississippi portion of the GP, which had remained a separate entity, was cast off as the Columbus & Greenville in 1920.

In 1892 the Richmond Terminal and the railroads it controlled (Richmond & Danville; Virginia Midland; Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta; Western North Carolina; Georgia Pacific; and East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia) entered receivership. The banking house of J. P. Morgan came to the rescue.

In 1869 two railroads out of Knoxville, Tenn., the East Tennessee & Virginia and the East Tennessee & Georgia, were consolidated to form the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad. The East Tennessee & Virginia was built from Bristol, Va., to Knoxville, 131 miles, between 1850 and 1856. The East Tennessee & Georgia opened a line from Dalton, Ga., to Knoxville, 110 miles, and a branch from Cleveland, Tenn., to Chattanooga in 1859. In 1881 the ETV&G acquired and constructed lines from Dalton to Brunswick, Ga., and Meridian, Miss. Three other major routes were more or less affiliated with the ETV&G: Chattanooga–Memphis, Mobile–Selma, Ala., and Louisville–Lexington, Ky.

The Southern Railway was chartered in 1894 to acquire the properties of the Richmond Terminal. The system comprised lines from Alexandria, Va., to Columbus, Miss.; from Chattanooga through Atlanta to Brunswick, Ga.; from Memphis through Chattanooga to Bristol, Va.; from Selma, Ala., to Rome, Ga.; and from Danville, Va., to Richmond.

The Southern acquired other railroads; among the larger ones were the Georgia Southern & Florida Railway in 1895 and the Louisville, Evansville & St. Louis Consolidated Railroad in 1898.

The Southern acquired a number of subsidiaries over the years. Many retained independent status, and the continued existence of these subsidiaries was attested to by initials on locomotives and cars.

The Alabama Great Southern Railway Company, Ltd., and the Alabama, New Orleans, Texas & Pacific Junction Railways, Ltd., were British-owned holding companies that owned five railroads forming the Queen & Crescent Route between Cincinnati (the Queen City) and New Orleans (the Crescent City). The five railroads were the Alabama Great Southern; the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific; the New Orleans & Northeastern; the Alabama & Vicksburg; and the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific. In 1890 the Richmond & Danville and the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia acquired control of the AGS company.

The Alabama Great Southern was incorporated in 1877. It was the successor to the Alabama & Chattanooga Railroad, whose predecessors had been chartered in 1852 and 1853, consolidated in 1868, and opened in 1871. Its main line stretched from Chattanooga to Meridian, Miss., 292 miles. Southern acquired the minority interest in AGS in 1969.

The New Orleans & Northeastern Railroad was incorporated in 1868 but lay dormant until 1881, when control was acquired by the Alabama, New Orleans, Texas & Pacific Junction Railways Ltd. Construction began in 1882, and the line was opened between New Orleans and Meridian, Miss., 196 miles, in 1883. The Southern purchased the NO&NE in 1916. The Alabama Great Southern merged the NO&NE in 1969.

The Cincinnati Southern Railway was incorporated in 1869 to build from Cincinnati to Chattanooga, 336 miles. It opened in 1880. The railroad was owned (and still is) by the city of Cincinnati. The Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific was chartered in 1881 and immediately leased the CS for operation. The CNO&TP was controlled by the two British-owned holding companies previously mentioned, which also controlled the Alabama Great Southern and the New Orleans & Northeastern. The Southern and the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton (Baltimore & Ohio) acquired control of the CNO&TP in 1895, but through its control of the Alabama Great Southern, which held an interest in the CNO&TP, Southern effectively had control. Southern acquired B&O’s interest in 1954.

The two Vicksburg railroads, which were controlled by the Alabama, New Orleans, Texas & Pacific company, became part of the Illinois Central system in 1927. The Alabama Great Southern and the CNO&TP were considered Class 1 railroads in their own right until corporate simplifications took effect.

The Georgia Southern & Florida Railway was incorporated in 1895 under Southern Railway control as a reorganization of the Georgia Southern & Florida Railroad, which had opened in 1890 from Macon, Ga., through Valdosta, Ga., to Palatka, Fla. It was intended to be part of a route from Birmingham, Ala., to Florida that would bypass Atlanta. In 1902 it purchased the Atlantic, Valdosta & Western Railway line from Valdosta, Ga., to a point near Jacksonville, Fla. Southern acquired control in 1895.

The Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway was an 1879 reorganization of the Western Railroad of North Carolina, which opened in 1860 from Fayetteville to Cumnock, 6 miles north of Sanford. By 1890 the CF&YV had a line from Wilmington through Fayetteville, Sanford, and Greensboro to Mount Airy and another from Fayetteville southwest to Bennettsville, South Carolina. The company entered receivership in 1894.

In 1899 it was sold at foreclosure and split between the Atlantic Coast Line, which acquired the Wilmington–Sanford and Fayetteville–Bennettsville lines, and the Southern, which organized the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway to take over the rest, from Sanford to Mount Airy. The A&Y was operated by the Southern Railway, which controlled it, until 1916, when it assumed its own operation. The Southern merged the company and resumed operation of the road on Jan. 1, 1950.

In the 1970s the Southern was notable for staying out of Amtrak, continuing to run its remaining passenger trains and gradually trimming service to just the Washington-Atlanta-New Orleans Southern Crescent. Amtrak took over operation of that train on Feb. 1, 1979. On March 25, 1982, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the acquisition by Norfolk Southern Corporation, a newly organized holding company, of the Southern Railway and the Norfolk & Western. Merger took place on June 1, 1982. At the end of 1990 the Norfolk & Western Railway became a subsidiary of the Southern Railway (it had been a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern Corporation), and the Southern Railway changed its name to Norfolk Southern Railway.

Champion Media acquires Herald-Advocate in Bennettsville, S.C.

BENNETTSVILLE, South Casrolina – Champion Media of the Carolinas, a family-owned company based in Mooresville, N.C., announced today that it has acquired the Herald-Advocate, the community newspaper in Bennettsville.Champion Media is owned by CEO Scott Champion and President Corey Champion.“We are excited to become part of this community,” Scott Champion said. “The Herald-Advocate fits with our current North Carolina properties and we know this acquisition will help our South Carolina business partners t...

BENNETTSVILLE, South Casrolina – Champion Media of the Carolinas, a family-owned company based in Mooresville, N.C., announced today that it has acquired the Herald-Advocate, the community newspaper in Bennettsville.

Champion Media is owned by CEO Scott Champion and President Corey Champion.

“We are excited to become part of this community,” Scott Champion said. “The Herald-Advocate fits with our current North Carolina properties and we know this acquisition will help our South Carolina business partners to expand their current advertising reach.”

Champion Media currently owns more than 20 newspapers in six states. Its largest footprint is in North Carolina with newspapers in Robeson, Sampson, and Bladen counties as well as The Laurinburg Exchange in Scotland County, The Richmond County Daily Journal in Rockingham, and the Anson Record in Wadesboro. The company also owns two South Carolina publications, the Newberry Observer in Newberry and Sentinel Progress in Easley.

The Herald-Advocate was sold by Marlboro Publishing Company, which is owned by Bennettsville native Elisabeth McNiel and her husband Dan. She represented the third generation of family ownership for the Herald-Advocate.

“We want to thank everyone who has supported our family and the newspaper for the last 90 years. We feel confident that Champion Media will do a great job and ask the community to assist them during this transition,” said Dan McNiel, who has served as the editor for the last seven years and publisher for the last four years.

The late Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Kinney began the Marlboro County Herald in 1931 and purchased the Pee Dee Advocate 20 years later forming the Marlboro Herald-Advocate. In 1972 W. L. Kinney Jr. purchased his parent’s interest with his daughter and son-in-law taking over the paper in 2014.

Over the years, the newspaper garnered several awards from the South Carolina Press Association and has been a cheerleader for social and economic growth in the region.

“It’s important to know that your community newspaper will remain just that, your newspaper,” Scott Champion said. “We intend to continue, and expand, your local coverage of news, sports and human interest and we believe, by partnering with our other area newspapers, will provide an expanded reach for the business community.”

Included in the sale is the regional magazine Pee Dee Life, which the Herald-Advocate staff started in 2019.

The sale of the newspaper was finalized Thursday. Many of the same faces that have worked and supported the newspaper for years will remain. The Herald-Advocate will continue to have an office in Bennettsville and offer both a print edition and online content.

ECU Countdown to Kickoff: No. 69 Noah Henderson

East Carolina is inside of 100 days of kickoff, when the Pirates take on the NC State Wolfpack on Sept. 3 at 12 noon ET in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. To count down the days to kickoff, we will be utilizing the Pirates' football roster to help us, going in numerical order from the highest number on the roster to the lowest.We continue the countdown with No. 69 as we are 69 days out from kickoff, and offensive lineman Noah Henderson....

East Carolina is inside of 100 days of kickoff, when the Pirates take on the NC State Wolfpack on Sept. 3 at 12 noon ET in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. To count down the days to kickoff, we will be utilizing the Pirates' football roster to help us, going in numerical order from the highest number on the roster to the lowest.

We continue the countdown with No. 69 as we are 69 days out from kickoff, and offensive lineman Noah Henderson.

POSITION: Offensive line

NUMBER: 69

HEIGHT: 6-5

WEIGHT: 301

HOMETOWN: Bennettsville, S.C.

HIGH SCHOOL: Marlboro County

CLASS: Redshirt Junior

SINCE COMING TO ECU: It hasn't been an easy road for Henderson at East Carolina, but it's been a rewarding one. The South Carolina native has overcome hardships and injuries to grow into an impact starter with the Pirates. He first entered the program ahead of the 2018 season as a blueshirt recruit, committing just before signing day, enrolling on his own, and being eventually placed on a scholarship. Henderson redshirted his initial season on campus in 2018, learning the ropes and developing in the weight room in the final year of the Scottie Montgomery era.

As a redshirt freshman, following the coaching change, Henderson was slowly mixed into the offensive line rotation as a redshirt freshman. The offensive tackle started off playing primarily special teams, but was thrust into a part-time role along the offensive front late in the year. He started the last four games of the year at right tackle and helped the offense rack up greater than 500 yards in three of those four contests. Although there was going to be growing pains, it was clear Henderson had a bright future in the Purple and Gold.

Unfortunately for the promising lineman, a back injury ended up derailing his entire 2020 campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic didn't do him any favors, and he was eventually ruled out for the entire year. It wasn't clear if he'd be able to play football again heading into 2021, as he was around the team but sidelined for the entire spring. After seeing multiple doctors, Henderson was finally cleared ahead of the 2022 campaign. He worked his way back into football shape in the preseason opened the year as the backup right tackle behind Bailey Malovic. Malovic suffered an unfortunate torn ACL in the second series of the season, forcing Henderson to step in almost immediately. There was some rust to shake off, but by the third or fourth week of the season, Henderson seemed back to his old self.

Henderson ended up starting 10 of the final 11 games (missing one due to his back flaring up), and graded out as the team's best offensive tackle for the season as a sophomore.

COMMENTS

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2022: After maturing on and off the field during his four years now with the program, and showing he can overcome adversity in the process, Henderson heads into the fall as one of the team's key leaders. He's been cited by head coach Mike Houston as one of the roster's all-conference candidates, performing at a very high level this spring, and providing a steady presence at right tackle with the first-team unit.

While his back will continue to be monitored, Henderson himself said this spring is the best he's felt physically in years. Assuming there are no setbacks this offseason or preseason, Henderson should head into the fall as the team's projected No. 1 right tackle once again. And given the way he played down the stretch last season, and how he carried it into the spring, there's no reason to think he shouldn't perform at a high level again this fall.

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