William Aiken House and Associated Railroad Structures

456 King St., Charleston, South Carolina


William Aiken House-Right Oblique

South Carolina Department of Archives and History



These structures are associated with William Aiken, Sr. (1779-1831), who in 1827 founded the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company. Aiken's Charleston-to-Hamburg railroad 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 U.S. mail. When the 136-mile railroad, linking Charleston with Hamburg, South Carolina, was completed in 1833, it was the longest operating railroad in the world and the first to offer regular steam locomotive passenger service in the United States. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, November 4, 1963

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Reference number
NR name
Aiken, William, House and Associated Railroad Structures
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Rail-related; Secondary structure; Warehouse
Current functions
Museum; Professional; Rail-related
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1800-1824; 1825-1849
Significant years
1807; 1811; 1831
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 9
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • January 14, 2019: New photos from Michael Miller
  • August 19, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 29, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller

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