Posts Tagged "Saluda Grade"

Go Back In Time? If Only . . .

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts |

Go Back In Time? If Only . . .

If you could go back in time for a few days where would you go? What time period? I have many such locations, but one place I would love to visit is Saluda, North Carolina during the early 1900’s.   Let me explain why.   The first time I visited Saluda was March 2004 when I came to North Carolina to meet my soon-to-be husband’s family. When we pulled into town Bruce pointed out which direction would take to his grandpa’s farm house and the church where some of his ancestors were buried. He also pointed out that the Saluda interchange sat on what used to be his grandpa’s corn field. I believe this may have been the first time I ever heard the phrase, “When the road took the farm.” It wasn’t the last.   As we drove down Main Street I was drawn in by the old-time small-town feel of the place. I noticed the depot and the bright yellow buildings beside it. I spotted the big Baptist Church. I love depots, yellow, and Baptist churches. I was hooked.   Over the next ten years we waved each time we passed Saluda, greeting our family—live and dead, as we rushed on our way to the place we would eventually call home on the other side of Hendersonville. There was no time for a stop in Saluda, for our home was calling us. It was a place to clean out and fix up.  A home full of memories.  A lovely place away from the noise and overpopulation of Florida. Here, despite the work I found peace. I could hear the birds sing. A rooster woke me each morning. But, it was a lot of work and even once we moved to Newberry, SC and eventually up to the house in Hendersonville, our visits to Saluda were few and far between.   A couple of times I made an unexpected stop at Saluda . . . well, at least at the interchange. Yep. My car engine blew up not once, but twice right in the middle of—you’ve got it, what used to be Grandpa Bradley’s corn field. Was it a sign?   So, when I decided it was time to start a new mystery series—this time set in the South—it was a no-brainer where the first book should take place. Saluda. After all, this is where my husband’s people come from. My other series started on my grandpa’s ranch. Why couldn’t this one start where Bruce’s grandpa farmed? So, the research began. I drove over to Saluda and wondered through town. I read a book written by some of the people in Saluda, a book that shared first person accounts of those days during the early 1900’s. I was blown away by the history Saluda can claim. I mean, not just one thing, but several.   One Sunday afternoon, armed with the book I returned to Saluda and drove around and around and around the town trying to find...

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Saluda Dream – A Summer To Remember

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 4 comments

Saluda Dream – A Summer To Remember

Have you ever wished you could go back to the past? I have often thought I would love to spend one day on a Wagon Train. Just one. I’m pretty sure the novelty would wear off quickly. Today I believe I might enjoy a return to Saluda, NC in the first part of the last century and I think I could last much longer than one day. Here’s why. Saluda, North Carolina, a small town at the top of the mountain sits just off of I26 as you come up from South Carolina to Hendersonville and Asheville. The interchange consumes what used to be my husband’s grandpa’s corn field. The family refers to the building of the road as, “When the road took the farm. . .” Because, well, it did. Take the farm, that is. If you drive down into Saluda you see a sleepy little town, a tourist destination of sorts with a railroad track running right down Main Street. There are no trains now, mores the pity. (Reason # 1 I want to go back to the former Saluda.) Anyway, you would never guess if you just drove through, the rich history hidden in this tiny town. I’m talking a colorful and varied history. There is the history of the Cherokee Indians who lived in these parts first. Then you have the first settlers who came through on the Indian Trails in the 1700’s and stayed to make a living off the land. There is Revolutionary War history and Civil War history. All of that was before Saluda even got its name. What really made the town come alive was the railroad. In 1878 the track was built up the Saluda Grade and the town’s name was changed from Pace’s Gap to Saluda. When the trains arrived, the people from Florida and South Carolina flocked to this mountain town for the summers. Hotels and boarding houses popped up everywhere. At one time there were over thirty of them. The first third off the 20th century Saluda was a happening place. Besides the tourist industry, there was the baby hospital started by Dr. Lesesne Smith. The homes on his property housed a hospital for the sick babies who were brought to the mountains. A group of benefactors in Spartanburg decided they needed a hospital for those who couldn’t pay too, so the Spartanburg Babies Hospital was born. It sat across Greenville Street from Dr. Smith’s hospital and he saw the babies there too! The doctor also ran a Seminar every summer for pediatricians from all over the country. As incredible as this seems it all happened in Saluda. So, I have been researching all of this for the book I am writing. It is the first in a new series of children’s mysteries set in the South. But, I’m having a problem. The research is so much fun. Driving around town finding all of the old hotels and boarding houses is a bit addictive. Dreaming about how...

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