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Owings Depot – Owings, South Carolina

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The unincorporated community of Owings in Laurens County was originally called Rapley in honor of Francis Rapley Owings, a farmer and merchant who donated the land and timber needed for a local depot. The depot opened in 1886, but Owings had opened a general store two decades earlier, in 1873. The general store also housed the post office.

Owings Depot

Tom Taylor of Greenville, 2007 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Since there was already an Owings in South Carolina at the time, the community first adopted Rapley’s middle name instead of his surname. (There is also some indication that Owings went by his middle name rather than his first name.) After the construction of the depot, however, the area was renamed Owings Station and later shortened to Owings. We are seeking more information on the details of this transition.

Owings Train Depot

Tom Taylor of Greenville, 2007 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The depot in Owings was built for the Charleston and Western Carolina Railroad. When the station opened, it was a boon to local merchants and especially to farmers, who relied on the train to both receive supplies and ship their harvests. The service was not without problems however. Twice in 1913, trains derailed at Owings, and one of the incidents resulted in a significant coal spill near the depot.

Francis Rapley Owings was a descendant of Richard Owings, III, the first European settler in the area; Richard and his family arrived from Owings Mills, Maryland in 1757, after having received in 1751 a grant for 150 acres on either side of Raeburn’s Creek.

Owings was a Confederate veteran who served in Company A of the Sixth South Carolina Calvary. His general store was located on what is today known as North Old Laurens Road. Owings also served as vice president of the Bank of Owings, which he helped found.

The community of Owings is closely associated with the community of Gray Court. The two areas share a school that is listed in the National Register, the Gray Court-Owings School.

We would like to make this entry better. Do you have information about Owings or the Owings Depot that you can share? If so, please send it to the South Carolina Picture Project. Thank you!

Owings Depot Info

Address: South Carolina Highway 14, Owings, SC 29645
GPS Coordinates: 34.631110,-82.133366

Owings Depot Map

Owings Depot – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Owings Depot, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

2 Comments about Owings Depot

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
December 8th, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Thank you for that great information, Tom!

Tom TaylorNo Gravatar says:
December 8th, 2016 at 9:30 am

The murals on the side of the old Owings Depot were originally painted by the late artist Skip Shelton. They were done in the 1980s, and have been “refreshed” since then.


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