Following the War Between the States and during the Reconstruction Era southern railroads were in complete disarray. By the 1880s, through mergers and new investments, the "Golden Era of Railroads" emerged in the country and literally rolled into the Pee Dee. A section of new rails that would become the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad entered this area in 1888. At this strategic point along the railroad a depot was constructed. The nucleus of a community was planted and it grew as new inhabitants arrived, started their businesses and built their homes creating the town of Latta.
Section of Latta Branch, 1915
The town received its name from Robert J. Latta, a York, SC native, who was the railroad surveyor that laid out plans for the station. The first passenger and freight depots were constructed in 1888. That year a post office was authorized and in 1890 the town was incorporated.
Postcard depicts 20th Century Latta ACL Passenger depot
What became known as the "Latta Branch connected Latta with McColl in 1895 and passed through the towns of Mallory, Bingham, Blenheim, Dunbar and Clio. The increase in commercial activity led the following year to the construction of a new tobacco warehouse. By 1903 there were three tobacco warehouses and until the markets later shifted to Dillon and Mullins, Latta was the center of tobacco marketing and the largest in the state.
20th Century Steam Locomotive; Latta Depot c. 1963; Caboose