This steam engine in the Jasper County town of Hardeeville may look like a theme park replica, but it is the real thing. Built in 1910, this locomotive with a “balloon” smoke stack harkens back to the town’s glory days in the lumber industry. The Argent Lumber Company once used this engine to carry timber from the forest to the mill.
Argent was a big name in the lumber industry during the early twentieth century. The company not only had facilities along the Atlantic Coast Railroad in Hardeeville, but it also built several smaller railway lines to import timber from distant forests. It was sold to Union Camp Corporation in the 1950s. Argent Lumber officially closed in 1960 and donated its steam engine Number 7 to Hardeeville, where it is on display at town hall.