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Blue Ridge Mountains Getaway


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

  Fox Races Were Big Events Here

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Fifty years ago we did not have any horse races but we had fox races. There were plenty of foxes where we lived. There were the grey fox and the red fox. They did not stay together. The grey fox was in the Piney Grove section; and The red fox was in the Mt. Page section. We were glad when fall of the year came and the fox hunters from South Carolina would come to our house in wagons bringing their tents and dogs for a week or so to run the foxes. I remember some of them; Dr. McKinney and George McKinney and others. They would have 20 dogs or more. Some would be trained dogs and some had never run a fox before. We always kept a good dog or two. My father liked to hunt. Most all of the fox wanted to run from one mountain to another, and you could get on top of one mountain and stand still and hear all of the race.

The prettiest music you ever heard is a good pack of dogs in a fox race. When the hunters came the first thing they wanted to know was where do the foxes use at, and my dad would tell them where they could find the fox any time within a little way of our house.

There was a man who lived near who had a dog that would not run anything but a fox at night. The hunters would always get him to go with them. His name was Lewis Davis. The dog's name was "Laud." We would start out about 4 o'clock; would tie all the dogs but Laud. When he barked Mr. Davis would say, “Turn your best dogs loose, it's a fox.” They would soon get the fox going. Then they would turn some more dogs loose. Finally they all got together. Then the race began. Old Laud would usually drop out when all the dogs got in the race as he was an old dog. Sometimes they would catch a grey fox on the ground. Sometimes they would tree it in a rock cliff; sometimes up a tree. It had to be a tree full of limbs. A dog could go almost anywhere the fox could.

The red fox was different from the grey fox. He would run around for awhile, then he would just leave the country - run your dogs to death. You would have to double pack your dogs to do anything with a red fox.

  Fodder Time 50 Years Ago

September was the fodder pulling time 50 years ago and everybody pulled fodder and cut tops. That was the only feed for the stock as we did not know anything about hay then. We would stack fodder in big stacks in the fields or around the house; not many had barns then, just small stables and cow lots. Calves would stay in the fields all winter. We would give them a bundle of fodder or tops once or twice a day if there was snow on the ground. Sometimes we would pull some crab grass hay in new ground.

Some folks that had sheep would pasture them on cane fodder. My daddy and mother said not to feed cows cane fodder as it would dry up the milk, so we never did feed cane fodder to the milk cows. I have found out later that there was no milk in fodder. The only grain feed was short corn. Sometimes we would beat up corn cobs with a hammer and soak them in hot water and sprinkle a little corn meal on them. We would go down in South Carolina and buy cotton seed sometimes, we would get it for about 10? a bushel. I remember the first sack of cotton seed meal we ever bought. We got it at Greenville, SC, and found out that it was good feed. We would take a load of produce to Greenville and bring back home cotton seed meal every time.

  Around Saluda 50 Years Ago

About 50 years ago a [young man] came to Saluda from South Carolina. He was William Moore who looked after Dr. Goelet's horses. The doctor kept fine horses. He lived where the present Saluda Inn is located. He had an office down town about where L. L. Clippard's place of business is now.

William, [omitted], later owned several houses and some land in Saluda and raised hogs. He looked after the homes of most of the summer people and did yard work. He was a good worker and was liked by everyone. [These] people looked after him during his last days. Miss Elizabeth Martin and Miss Beard were good to him. There was another Goelet here at the same time the doctor was. They called him Buncombe Goelet. He was a surveyor and contractor, and he bought all kinds of timber. He lived and had his office back of where the A. G. Store is now. He had as cook, [a man] named Sumter. Buncombe Goelet married Miss Lessie Rhodes of Melrose. When he died he was buried at Friendship Church. The last I heard of his wife, she was somewhere in Texas.

Another man who had lots of friends here was Leander Hart. He was postmaster here for a long time. He would take or send a letter for miles if he thought the person ought to have it. We had no R.F.D. then.

The little blacksmith shop that stood on the hill near where Ernest Thompson's house is now, is gone with the horses, but the big oak stands where Uncle Ibe Davis used to shoe for 25¢ a head.

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