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Blue Ridge Mountains Getaway


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

  The Garden Spot of Polk County

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About seven miles from Saluda is what is known as the Green River Cove; fifty years ago it was the garden spot of Polk County. There were a lot of people living there then - most all were farmers. They raised a lot of produce and fruits of all kinds. They could sell most all they grow in Saluda and Hendersonville. You could see them come into Saluda and Hendersonville with baskets full of tomatoes, figs and peaches. They would furnish the summer people with everything they would need to eat. Besides there were two or three canneries down there. There was a post office there called "Fish Top, NC." The mail would come across the mountain from Dana, N. C. in Henderson County. Thomas E. Pace was postmaster. There was a church and a good school. Many good school teachers got their first start in the Cove; and there were a lot of good cooks, too, I happened to know one.

But what has happened to the Cove now? The old people are gone; the young have moved to town; and the land where there used to be big fields of corn, apples, peaches, orchards, etc. has grown up in timber. And you might see deer there now a Wildlife people have bought a lot of the land. There is a good road from Saluda down through the Cove to Mill Spring. There is one man who lives in a little house by the side of the road. If you go down there stop by and see him. He can give you a history of the Cove. He is a retired music teacher and farmer. His name is T. W. Bradley.

Before the railroad was built between Spartanburg and Asheville there were only two main wagon roads through this section by which people could travel, drive their stock, haul their produce to different markets and bring back groceries and other necessities.

My father told me how they used to haul salt from Augusta, GA with a six-horse team. The road was up one hill and down another all the way. My grandfather lived on the Buncombe road near where the Tuxedo cotton mill now stands. His name was Tommy Staton. He had a big lot built of rails around his barn, and a lot of feed troughs. Mother said he used to keep droves of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs that were being driven the road from Asheville, NC to Greenville, SC. One night it might be cattle or sheep or hogs, and the next night a drove of horses.

There were several of these places along the road. Sometimes the road would be real muddy and they could not travel very far in a day. There was also a place like grandfather's on the old Howard Gap Road on Warrior Mountain near Saluda. They usually carried a wagon along with their own feed. Mother said they would ride a white horse in front and everything would follow it. That was the only way they had in those days to get the animals to market. I have been told they would drive turkeys that way. They said about sun down the turkeys would begin to fly up in trees. The old Howard Gap Road was about a mile north of Saluda and the Buncombe road, or sometimes called the State Road in South Carolina, was about six miles south of Saluda. Of course we had roads leading into these main roads.

  The Last White Man to be Hung in Greenville County, SC

A man by the name of Bud Morgan, who lived about six miles from Saluda, NC in the edge of South Carolina in Greenville County, was hung at Greenville, SC. He was a married man. He married a woman by the name of Hipp. They had seven children - all small when he was hung. He killed his father-in-law, Wash Hipp. Morgan was paying too much attention to his wife's sister and Mr. Hipp talked to him about it. Morgan was drinking and he slipped up behind Mr. Hipp and shot him. This happened on the Callahan Mountain in South Carolina.

They said Morgan came home and the first word he said when he got home was, “They say I killed Wash Hipp.” I was talking to Mrs. Martha "Gosnell" Morgan the other day, who married Levi Morgan the oldest son of Huci Morgan, and she said Bud Morgan was in jail in Greenville, SC three years before he was hung; that he was the last white man to be hung in Greenville County. She said he told his boys not to drink whiskey or kill a man for they could see what it had done for him.

Mr. Morgan was buried at Mountain Page Church in Henderson County near Saluda, NC. Some of the members of the church did not want him buried in the church graveyard because he had been hung. A Mr. William Russell said, “Yes he will be buried there because he gave 50 cents to help buy the ground for the graveyard.”

Mrs. Millie Morgan, the wife of Bud Morgan, worked for $2.54 a day and raised her children until they got big enough to work in a cotton mill - then she moved to Greenville SC.

>> 50 Years Ago (Page 7)

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