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Blue Ridge Mountains Getaway


50 Years Ago in Saluda, NC by Herbert E. Pace

  Log Homes 50 Years Ago

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In the country around Saluda 50 years ago most everyone lived in houses of logs hewed from big poplar trees two to three feet in diameter. The logs when finished were about eight inches thick and from 12 to 18 inches wide. They were covered with boards split from big oak trees. The boards were about two feet long and about half an inch thick and of different widths. I was talking to Uncle Buddy Pace the other day. He said he had rived thousands of boards. He had two or three froes and a maul or two. Uncle Buddy said he never covered a house on the new moon because the boards would crook up at the end. On the old moon they would lay down flat. Buddy is 84 years old.

Our people always built their houses near a spring. Generally above the spring there was no running water. The floors were made of punchins split from poplar trees and hewed smooth. All the furniture was home made from walnut and poplar. There were no closets. Each home had large wardrobes and clothes presses. The floors were kept clean with sand and hot water and a scrub broom made of shucks. Most houses had two fireplaces, some would burn wood four or five feet long. Broom straw was cut from brooms. There were no springs on the beds, only a corded rope kind. The houses were kept clean as a pin. Some of the finest people that ever lived owned these homes. They always had a gourd at the spring; milk and butter in the spring house. Cradles were made with rockers so the women could rock the babies with their feet while they churned butter with their hands.

  Saluda, NC Then "Paces Ridge"

I have been told Saluda was one time called Paces Ridge. There were five Pace brothers who came to this country from England. One settled in Virginia; one went to Alabama; one to Georgia; one to South Carolina and one came to Saluda, NC, and built a house on the ridge near where the bridge is now that goes over the railroad. The water on the east side of the bridge goes into Pacolet River and the water on the west side goes into Green River. That is why it was called Paces Ridge.

You will find Paces all over the United States. The Paces settled on the south side of Saluda and the Thompsons on the other side. I have heard it said when you met a man on the street in Saluda - call him Pace, if he did not answer, call him Thompson.

Columbus "Lum" Pace was Clerk of Court for forty years in Henderson County. He was called judge Pace. He could give you advice about the law as good as any lawyer. He was elected to the office of Clerk of Court for a few terms - then no one would run against him. He held the office as long as he lived. He has a grandson, Charles M. Pace, who is a judge in Spartanburg, SC.

The Paces are talented musicians - there were some good fiddlers too. John C. Pace, who left here and went to Alabama, was a good singer. He had a son, R. W. I. Pace, who is a music teacher. Adger M. Pace of Lawrenceburg, Tenn. is one of the best Harmony teachers in the south.

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