The Lancaster & Chester Railway, founded in 1896, was originally the Cheraw & Chester Railroad, chartered in 1873. The C&C, which never finished its route, was sold to Col. Leroy Springs (1861-1931) for $25,000 and renamed the Lancaster & Chester Railway. A narrow gauge line, running only 29 miles from Chester to Lancaster, it was later converted to standard gauge track in 1902 at a cost of $125,000.
The L&C carried freight and passengers 1896-1913 but only freight after a 1913 accident. Springs's son Elliott White Springs (1896-1959) succeeded him as President. He named 29 Vice Presidents, one for each mile of the road. This depot, built in 1951 and designed by Joe Croxton, included the L&C offices. From 1902 to 1994 Springs Mills was the L&C's largest customer, hauling coal and cotton to its plants.