Saluda is a charming historic small town. The town is 3 blocks long and the buildings face the railroad tracks. On the weekends it is hard to find a parking place, but the shops and depot are worth the effort. The first Saturday after July 4th, they have a festival called Coon Dog Days, sounds interesting and I love dogs.
The city of Saluda is in Henderson and Polk counties. Originally Saluda was known as Pace’s Gap, named for the Pace family who inhabited the area. In 1881, the town was incorporated as Saluda, after the Saluda Mountains. The Saluda Mountains were named after the Saluda River, which got its name from an Indian chief whose name meant “Corn River” in Cherokee.
The completion of the Southern Railroad in 1878 brought about a large change in Saluda. The three-mile-long grade that crests at Saluda is the steepest stretch of track in the nation. Construction on the Saluda line in the 1870s marked the first use of convict labor on such a large scale. Casualties among the workforce ran so high that it prompted an investigation.
Saluda Grade: The steepest, standard gauge, mainline railway grade in the U.S. Opened in 1878; three mi. long. Crests here
M.A. Pace Store since 1899 – General Merchandise
Heartwood – they have handcrafted ceramics, wood, jewelry, fiber, candles, glass, paintings and garden art. Main Street
Kathleen’s – the store has items by local artists and crafts people including, folk art, pottery, jewelry, wood pieces and fine art. Main St
Somewhere in Time – the store has a variety of things, antiques, jam and jellies, ice cream, etc. Main Street
Art of the Horse Outdoor Exhibit – the horses are in 4 towns in 2 states
Green River Adventures – offers waterfall rappelling, whitewater rafting, kayak instruction, they also offer zip lining the Saluda Gorge (they claim it is the steepest and fastest in America.)
Pearson’s Falls and Glen is a botanical wonderland. It was named for the young engineer, Charles William Pearson, who scouted the mountains for the Southern Railroad. A military man, farmer, and an engineer, Captain Pearson bought the Glen as part of a large tract of land that he wanted for his family. In 1931, the Tryon Garden Club purchased the 268-acre property. 2748 Pearson Falls road off Hwy 176