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Blue Ridge Mountains Getaway


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

  50 Years Ago Around Saluda

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When I grew up in South Carolina just over the line in Glassy Mountain township I got to be one of the trustees of the school. There were three of us - C. A. Gosnell, Scot Pace and myself. They appointed me chairman; so I went to Greenville, the county seat, about 35 miles away -drove a horse and buggy. It took all day. I spent the night at my sister's. The next morning I went over to the court house to see the county superintendent, a Mr. Barton, to see how much money we had for our district. He looked up Burgerland District No. 141. He said, “You all have $75.00, you can spend that money any way you see fit, but don't spend over $75.00.”

We hired a teacher for $25.00 a month; started the school about the middle of July; had school six weeks and stopped for fodder time for two weeks, then had six weeks more of school. School was out about the middle of October before it got too cold, and so the children could help gather corn.

I think it took me three days to make the trip to Greenville and back; had to go down Saluda River about six miles into the State or Buncombe Road, as it was called. It was a dirt road all the way. This state road was built bout 1820 by Alram Blanding, acting commissioner. Joel R. Poinsett, was president of the road. The Poinsetta flower was named in his honor. More about this road later.

  Beautiful Country Close to Saluda

You don't have to go to the Smokies or drive 100 miles away to see a beautiful country when you have it here around Tryon and Saluda.

You should see the work that was done years ago by hand. They had no machinery then. You should see a bridge on the Callahan Mountain road that was built in 1820 by hand. It is a perfect bridge with no cement. Some of the rocks in it look like marble. Some would weight a ton or more. This bridge is about 10 miles from Saluda. Go out the Mountain Page Road to the Greenville Highway - then down the highway just below Tiney Town, turn left across Saluda River, and about one mile up this road there is a big rock marker by "Nathaniel Green Chapter Daughters of American Revolution."

There was another place on the old state road in South Carolina that everybody knew about 50 years ago. That was the Poinsett Springs (known by some as the Basin Springs). It was a big rock with a basin cut out in it. This was on the old road. Don't know if it is still standing or not.

Then there was what they called the "Winding Stairs" on the old road where Wildwood Park is now. You'll see some more fine rock work there.

I bet our old friend C.O. Hearon, knows about all those places as he was one of the "Good Roads Men" in South Carolina and helped to make better roads several years ago.

  "You All Come!"

Fifty years ago people would visit one another more than they do nowadays. In the fall of the year they would visit their kinfolks and stay two or three days. The whole family would go some times in a wagon.

There would be several children in the family. How the children would play and have a good time! But when the meal time came the children would have to wait until the older folks got through; and how they did hate to wait; but that was the rule then. Not so now. The children come first.

Long time ago when bed time came - how we were going to sleep was soon figured out. All the children slept in one bed - some at the head and some at the foot. All through the night some of the children would be saying; “I want water,” and it kept some one busy all night giving the children water to drink. But the people enjoyed their kinfolks coming to see them. And when they got ready to go home maybe some of the children would go with them and stay a week; or they would make plans just when they would come - the last words were: “You all come.”

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