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Polk County, North Carolina
+ Here is a location page for Saluda.
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seasonal. Winter temperatures average about 40 degrees while summer temperatures average about 75 degrees. Precipitation tends to fall year-round, mostly averaging over five inches per month all year. Humidity remains high throughout the year.
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History & History Related Items
Although the town of Saluda was incorporated in 1881, shortly after the railroad came to town, many families had already been living in the mountains around Saluda for 100 years. The Guice, Pace, Matcalf, Staton, Ward, Newman, Morris, Bradley and Thompson Fmailyies had lived here since shortly after the Cherokee Boundary was moved farther back westward. The area wasn then known as Paces Gap, named after the early Pace family, Burl Pace, who died in 181 is buried in the nearby old mountain Page Cemetery.
After the Civil War and the return of the Polk County veterans, the plans for Southern Railway to build a railroad from Asheville to Spartanburg began to resurface. The railroad route was changed through the mountain region of Saluda in the end versus the route through a flatter area in the county because many in that area did not want to give up their land for the railroad. This made the railroad the steepest mainline railroad grade in the east, a distinction it held until Norfolk Southern shut down the railroad in the late 20th century. Just a few short years after the railroad was completed in the late 1870’s, a boom came to Saluda – wealthy people from Charleston, Columbia, Florida and other southern parts began spending summers in Saluda. Many of their descendents still have summer homes in Saluda today as do the descendents of the original families of Saluda. The coming of the summer people brought hotels and businesses to Saluda. The Ma Pace Store located on Main Street began business in 1999 and continues today, run by Ma Pace’s youngest son, Robert. The Thompson Ward Store is also still in business after nearly sixty years. Many of the old hotels that welcomed Saluda visitors one hundred years ago are still being used as bed and breakfasts today.
Saluda was named for the Saluda Mountains. That name came from the name of a local Indian Chief whose Cherokee name sounded like Saluda, but meant corn river.
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