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.
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
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
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.