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Blue Ridge Mountains Getaway

 

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

 
  Ricks Haven
 

saluda / saluda book index

Fifty years ago Fanny J. Ricks of Yazoo City, Miss., came to Saluda, bought some land on Tryon Mountain, and first lived in a tent, then built a small house. J.S. Arledge told me his father, the Rev. I. S. Arledge, built more to the small house of chestnut logs. Mr. Arledge said she bought land from Jimmie Price, Ed Bradley, Dick Petty, Joe and Will Raines, a speculation company and others. Mrs. Ricks owned about 1700 acres - had about 1600 under fence.

She did a lot of farming, had all kinds of horse drawn machinery; had a team of mules and team of horses. She had about 100 head of Angora goats, 100 head of purebred sheep, a herd of Red Deven cattle, some purebred Tamworth hogs, a flock of chickens, and a horse which she drove to the buggy. Mrs. Ricks worked a lot of people. She raised a lot of corn. Had a corn shredder. She raised rye, oats, vetch, barley, velvet beans and most everything she needed to eat and for feed. Mrs. Ricks had her stock shipped by train to Saluda and drove them over the road to the mountain. Mr. Arledge worked for Mrs. Ricks. He said she brought a colored man with her from Mississippi to help around the house, also a German girl.

Mrs. Ricks got water from a deep well with a wind mill. She later built a big house farther up the mountain and called this "Ricks Haven." She did her own road surveying.

The [African-American] man that worked for Mrs. Ricks went back to Mississippi and got killed. Mrs. Ricks and the German girl died on the mountain about 1918.

Editor's Note: Ricks Haven is now owned by C.O. Story of Lynn. It is one of the most attractive sites in the mountains.

 
  50 Years Ago on the Railroad
 

The old steam engine helper is gone off the Saluda Mountain. Mr. E. L. Patterson, who pushed the trains from Melrose to Saluda, a distance of three miles, for 47 years, retired at the age of 70 years. He only lived two years after he retired. Mr. Patterson went to work for the railroad when he was almost 14 years old as a water boy. He pulled a passenger train from Asheville to Salisbury and from Asheville to Spartanburg before coming on the helper at Saluda.

I remember Mrs. Patterson having some of his friends to come over to their house one night. She said Mr. Patterson had been working for the railroad 50 years that day, and she invited us over. When we got there Mr. Patterson said, “I am glad you all came over. I have been working on the railroad 50 years today. I'm so glad you all came today.”

Mr. Patterson was a great lover of music. He would go to a lot of our singing conventions, and would often pay the expenses of a good quartet to get them to come to our singings. He loved to hear the Carolina Ladies Quartet of Greenville, SC sing. He did not sing but it put life into a singing just to see him there; he enjoyed it so much.

Mrs. Patterson lives at the old home with a daughter. Miss Mona Patterson, on Patterson Street in Saluda.

 
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