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Blue Ridge Mountains Getaway

 

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

 
  Hotel Romance in Asheville Ends at Saluda by Death
 

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I was to Mrs. Maggie (Laughter) Baumberger who is 91 years old. She has spent most of her life in and around Saluda. She told me she worked, when a girl, at Momosa sanatorium near Lynn, for a Dr. McAboy. She later went to Asheville to work for J. P. Sawyers. She said she was the first person to put linen in the old Battery Park Hotel. The hotel was built by Frank Coxe. She thought he came from Polk County. I asked her how she met Mr. Baumberger. She said he was a cook at the hotel. Mr. Baumberger came to New York from Switzerland and saw an ad in the paper wanting a cook, so he came to Asheville and got a job as cook at the Battery Park Hotel. Miss Laughter was working in the linen room. She noticed he kept looking at her from time to time. One day he wrote her a note. She did not answer it for sometime. After she answered it they went around together for about a year and then married. They went to Hot Springs on their honeymoon. At that time she was working for $10.00 a month plus room and board.

They were married in May 1887 and came to Saluda in October of that year, and went to Rutherfordton to see Bill Justice from whom they bought some speculation land and built a two-room house near where Mrs. Baumberger now lives with a daughter, Miss Kitty Baumberger.

Julius Baumberger went to Switzerland once or twice to see his people, but died here in 1906.

 
  Turkey Wing Fans - Century Old Fire
 

We hear a lot about the century old fire of Uncle Bill Morris who lived on Holbert Cove road. I have been to Uncle Bill's house several times. He always kept his fiddle on the bed by the side of the old fire place, and would play a few tunes every time I was there. He had a good bass voice and could take a song book and play by note. He also played the old mountain music. And about his fire, my children used to think he kept a little blaze in the fire place all the time, but when he would go to Saluda or anywhere to be gone all day, he would bank his fire - that is he would rake all the live coals and chunks of wood in the middle of them and cover them up with ashes. When he came back he would uncover the coals, lay a little kindling on the coals and take the turkey wing and fan it just a little. He would have a fire in a few minutes. Uncle Bill was not as good a housekeeper as some women but he had everything handy. His pots and pans were in the corner; hooks and turkey wing fan hung from a nail. Don't guess he ever had a match. He would light his lamp with a straw.

I remember at home my father would lay a big stick of wood on the fire in the morning and say it would be good to hold fire tonight; and by night it would be burned into big chunks. Father would cover the chunks with ashes and the next morning he would rake the ashes off and mother would say “I will cook breakfast by the fire with such good coals.”

 
  Mountain Page
 

Old Mountain Page Church was built on the old road leading to the Greenville Highway about 1 mile from Saluda. It burned down and the members voted to build a church where the present church is located, about one mile on towards the Greenville Highway. It is about 2 miles from Saluda. Uncle Buddie Pace told me there was a man by the name of Page who lived in that section then. He must have been a leader. That's how it got its name - Mt. Page.

Uncle Buddie is 84 years old. He said they first built a log church at the new Mt. Page. Then built a larger one. They also used this one for a school house. It burned down. They built another one in the same place. Some of the preachers that Uncle Buddy remembered were Jimmie Blye, Alex Bowers, Singleton, Rumyon, Springfield, J. L. Brookshire, A. T. Howard, Arnold Edney, Mr. Blythe and Mr. Allen. The present preacher is Bedingfield of Tuxedo, N. C. They have a nice rock church which was built a few years ago on the pay as you go plan. They do not owe anything on the church and have recently landscaped the grounds - made it one of the nicest churches in the country.

There are a lot of good people buried there; and they have a "homecoming" once a year, the second Sunday in August. Adger M. Pace comes every year from Lawrenceburg, Tenn. - said he would come every year as long as he lived and could get there. He does not look any older than he did 42 years ago when he first came to this section from South Georgia, and taught a singing school at Mt. Page. He is kin to the Paces, Wards, and Thompsons, and most everybody when dinner time comes.

 
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