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|Saluda, North Carolina|
Location of Saluda, North Carolina
|• Total||1.6 sq mi (4.0 km2)|
|• Land||1.6 sq mi (4.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||2,103 ft (641 m)|
|• Density||369.1/sq mi (142.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0994200|
The City of Saluda is located in both Henderson and Polk counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 713 at the 2010 census. Saluda is famous for sitting at the top of the Norfolk Southern Railway's Saluda Grade, the steepest main line standard gauge railroad line east of the Rockies. The main street of Saluda is a bustling hub of newly formed restaurants and art galleries. Tourists and cyclists are common on summer and fall weekends due to the many winding mountain roads located around Saluda. The main town festivals are Coon Dog Day, The Saluda Arts Festival, and The Home Town Christmas Celebration. Saluda has a location along the South Carolina state line with proximity to Greenville-Spartanburg, SC and Asheville, NC.
Saluda's name came from the Cherokee word, "Tsaludiyi", meaning "green corn place". The original name was "Pace's Ridge", from the Pace family who inhabited the area. The Pace family name is still found all over Saluda. Many of the original families were Scotch-Irish who left Pennsylvania around the time of the Whiskey Rebellion in the early 1790s. In 1878, there were only two houses in the limits of present-day Saluda.
The completion of the Southern Railroad in 1878 brought about a large change in Saluda. The Saluda railroad grade is unmatched by any main line east of the Rocky Mountains with a grade that drops 600 feet to the mile. It was originally built to connect the Asheville and Spartanburg Railroad. The railroad was built with convict labor, which marked the first use of convict labor on a large scale, and was supervised by Colonel Andrew Tanner who operated the first hotel in Saluda and was also elected the first Mayor of Saluda in 1881. In 1887, eight passenger trains passed through Saluda daily with about 3,000 visitors a year. The Saluda Grade is infamous for runaway train accidents, in 1880 alone, fourteen men were killed on the three mile stretch of track. The train no longer runs through Saluda although there is talk of future passenger train plans.
Saluda is located at  primarily within Polk County. Elevation on Main Street: 2097 ft.(35.237856, -82.346870),
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.0 km2), all land.
Saluda has a small pristine lake, Lake Summit, which is just large enough for motor boats.
Saluda-area historical earthquake activity is significantly above North Carolina state average. It is 85% smaller than the overall U.S. average.
Magnitude types: regional Lg-wave magnitude (LG), body-wave magnitude (MB), local magnitude (ML), moment magnitude (MW)
As of the 2010 Census, there were 713 people and 493 households with 310 currently occupied, 141 seasonal/recreational/occasional use houses, and 28 for sale/rent. The population density as of the 2000 census, was 369.1 people per square mile (142.3/km2). The racial makeup was 95.65% White, 2.66% African American, 0.28% Asian, 0.28% American Indian and Alaska Native, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.96% of the population.
There were 265 households out of which 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.70.
The City of Saluda was 43.76% male and 56.24% female. The population was 14.59% under the age of 18. The population over 18 was spread into five categories: 2.52% from age 18 to 24, 4.91% from 25 to 34, 17.11% from 35 to 49, 25.10% from 50 to 60, and 34.90% from age 65 and older.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,063, and the median income for a family was $47,188. Males had a median income of $37,917 versus $25,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,149. About 3.8% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
Saluda's City Administrator is Jon Cannon. Cannon handles daily decision making and is responsible for directing Public Works and the Administration Staff.
The current Mayor of Saluda as of 2011[update] is Fred Baisden. Baisden grew up in Gordon, Georgia and attended Georgia Southern University majoring in Industrial Management. After graduating University in 1972, Baisden worked for Milliken and co. until 1976. He then worked for Abbott Laboratories for 30 years until making permanent residence in Saluda, North Carolina in February 2007. Prior to being Mayor, Baisden attended monthly commissioner meetings on the Saluda Planning Board. Baisden is currently working to improve Saludas infrastructure and lower costs for residents.
City Council is composed of the mayor and four commissioners: Leon Morgan, Carolyn Ashburn, Lynn Cass and Mark Oxtoby.
Lynn Cass was elected in November 2011. She moved to Saluda in 2009 from Macon, Georgia, where she was co-founder, publisher and co-owner of Macon Magazine and Here - The Essential Guide to Central Georgia for 15 years. She is Mayor Pro-Tem and water/sewer commissioner.
Leon Morgan served on the Saluda Planning and Zoning Board for three years and is currently serving a second term as the City Commissioner as of 2010[update]. Morgan was born in Saluda in 1944 and has lived there his whole life. He is responsible for streets, parks, the cemetery and festivals.
Carolyn Ashburn is serving her first term as commissioner. She was raised in Winston-Salem, NC. and has lived in Saluda since 2008. She is responsible for buildings and sanitation.
Mark Oxtoby is serving his first term as commissioner. He was born in Coventry England, and moved to Saluda in 1990. He is responsible for public safety.
Saluda Arts Festival
Fine artists from all over western North Carolina and South Carolina exhibit and sell oil, water colors, acrylic paintings and drawings, wood working, photography, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, stained glass, metal working, and more. The festival also offers live demonstrations of landscape painting, weaving, pottery, and blacksmithing.
Coon Dog Day Festival
Coon Dog Day is one of the oldest festivals in Saluda, it is a homecoming and celebration which includes food, live music,a parade, crafts, street dance, and more. The festival also includes a 5k race and a benefit breakfast at the Saluda Masonic Lodge.
Saluda Home Town Christmas
Main Street is decked out in Christmas lights and holiday decorations. This long-standing tradition has become a way for Saluda residents to come together and celebrate the holiday season. Businesses and shops are open and serve holiday refreshments while local musicians perform. The open house and musical events are closed with an ecumenical service delivered by Saluda ministers at the Saluda Presbyterian Church.
The majority of shops are located on Main Street. With Meanwhile, Back in Saluda and Wildflour Bake Shop in Nostalgia Cort.
Saluda offers a number of unique restaurants from fast food to fine dining.
Saluda offers local artists work in many small studios and shops. Saluda is also very close to the Tryon Fine Arts Center, which helps to promote local art, music, film, and other cultural endeavors, and the Asheville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, Diana Wortham Theater, and the YMI Culture Center. The Brevard Music Center is also a short drive away and provides young musicians with the opportunity to develop their talents. Saluda is also quite close to the Flat Rock Playhouse, The Blue Ridge Performing Arts Center, and the Tryon Little Theater.
The Saluda Community Land Trust manages parks and develops trails including the Lazy Girl Loop, Tryon Missing Trace 40, Little Park, and a Community Garden. A small park with a playground and picnic shelter borders the railroad tracks on Main Street. Saluda Dog Park is on Chestnut Street. Many parks and forests are within driving distance of Saluda, including the Green River Game Lands, Dupont State Recreational Forest, and Pisgah National Forest.
Public elementary/middle school in Saluda:
Hospitals/medical centers near Saluda:
Some of the early residents of Saluda included: Benjamin Staton, William Metcalf, Burrell Pope Pace, Cade Underwood, Samuel Gordon, three of whom are buried in the Metcalf graveyard in the Fork Creek community, the fourth was buried on a hillside in 1815 in what later became the Old Mountain Page Graveyard. His graveyard is one of present-day Henderson County's oldest graves. Some historians believe Benjamin Staton to be the first white man to live in present-day Henderson County. At the time he built his home in the community of Saluda, this was in Greenville county, SC. The state line was later changed and the land Staton owned at the time is now present day Henderson County.