Depot continues to add educational exhibits and presentations with 8,000 to 10,000 annual visitors coming through the door since the opening of the Depot to learn about the Saluda Grade and Saluda's history.
Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 4pm. Closed on Monday. Also, see our exhibits and events online at
The Depot will be closed November 22, December 24 and 25. Closed January and February.
The museum includes seasonal exhibits, Saluda Grade "Z-Scale" Diorama and "O-Scale" train dioramas of the different railroad eras in Saluda. There are also running videos of train that came up the Saluda Grade and a gift station. You will also see heritage artifacts and photo opportunities!
The holidays are a great time to visit the Depot. It's decorated with greenery, ornaments, and brightly lit tree. Experience how it feels when you are taken back in time traveling by train during the holidays.
Admission is always free and voluntary donations are appreciated. Donations can be made by mailing to Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or through Paypal at
Saluda, the Musical
A Historical Depiction of Our Town
November 17 at 7pm
The Saluda Historic Depot Theatre Troupe is producing Saluda's first musical to be premiered on November 17, 2018. The production will depict Saluda's historical progression from the time the Cherokee Indians settled in the land of "green corn" until today. The original play was written by Corinne Gerwe in collaboration with members of the newly-formed Young Acting Krew "YAK" of the Saluda Historic Depot Theatre Troupe, with a musical score written by Dan Foster to be performed by his band, the Radio Rangers.
The performance will be held at the Party Place & Event Center and owners Bob and Linda Whitaker granted a special concession on the regular event price for the use of the facility. The Party Place & Event Center is at 221 Friendship Church Rd., Saluda, NC. Performance will start at 7pm. Doors open at 6pm.
Tickets will be $10 for everyone 12 years and older and purchased at the door. Children under 12 will be free.
Corinne Gerwe, who with Bill Jameson co-founded the theatre troupe, recalls attending a Saluda Historic Depot board meeting during a brain-storming session on how the Depot could contribute toward bringing back "Railroad Day" in Saluda. Many remembered when Saluda celebrated this "ole timey" day when townspeople dressed in costume from the early-time era. "I began concentrating on developing this idea into a theatrical event focused on Saluda's heritage and railroad history by including children of Saluda interested in the performing arts. The Young Acting Krew had just been formed, and it seemed the right time to do this. The kids were so excited about creating a heritage play, they have since thrust the idea to realization," says Corinne.
Corinne is an author of several fiction and non-fiction novels, three of which are a series of murder mysteries set in a small town much like Saluda. Her latest mystery, "The Silent Scream of the Straw Man" has just been released. She has been a contributing board member and supporter of the Depot since its inception.
Dan Foster is a singer/songwriter based in Atlanta, Georgia. "Saluda Grade" was written by Dan after walking around Saluda before performing at the Purple Onion and noticed the historical marker describing the remarkable, legendary Saluda Grade. In 2009 it was featured on an album by High Cotton that spent several weeks on the Georgia top 20 Roots music charts. Dan rearranged the song for the play with his current group, The Radio Rangers, in addition to new songs featuring acoustic music with strong vocal harmonies. Writing melodic songs that tell a good story is Dan's passion.
"The history of Saluda is unique but shares a heritage with so many communities across our country. The railroads were the backbone of our country's growth and touched so many people and communities. I believe the wisdom to move forward is provided by the struggles of our past. I am honored to help in this small way to the celebration of Saluda history. Saluda is a special place," said Dan Foster.
In addition to YAK and the adult Bell Tower Players, there are many others involved in this community-wide production. "The town is excited about this musical and volunteers have jumped in to give their talents and time to costume designing, building stage sets and props, to be extras, do makeup, plan sound and lighting, and video/filming and for cameo appearances of the towns historians and legends," says Corinne.
The Saluda Historic Depot Theatre Troupe was formed to provide a forum for a variety of theatrical performances reflecting the creative spirit of our community. The goal is to produce plays that will include those from legitimate theater, historic depictions of Saluda's rich history, and literary and poetic readings; all will demonstrate local artistry and talent. The Saluda Historic Depot will provide the setting for presentations suitable for its locale and will partner with other venues for settings suitable for each production.
The musical will benefit the Saluda Historic Depot, a non-profit dedicated to making the historic train station into a museum in order to highlight the history of the railroad, Saluda's downtown, its people, and the history of its natural resources.
If you would like to climb aboard and help preserve the historic Saluda Depot for future generations, you can send donations or pledges to Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or email
. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit and all donations are tax deductible.
Donations and memberships to the Saluda Historic Depot in 2018 will enable us to receive incentive grant funds from the Polk County Community Foundation.
Saluda Historic Depot Commemorates 50
th Anniversary of the Last Run of the "Carolina Special"
After 53 years of running from Charleston to Asheville and beyond to the mid-west, the passenger train, "Carolina Special" made its final run up the Saluda Grade 50 years ago on December 5, 1968. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, the Saluda Historic Depot invites everyone to a drop-in reception at the Depot on December 5, 2018 from 6pm to 7:30pm. There will be special guests, speakers, and refreshments.
Special guests and speakers will be:
Bill Schafer, retired from Norfolk-Southern and co-founder of the Southern Railway Historical Association (SRHA)
will cover a brief history of the Carolina Special, and conclude with some personal memories of the train, especially on December 5, 1968.
Bill Schafer, 70, graduated from Davidson College in 1970, and began working for Southern Railway in 1971. He retired in 2011 as Norfolk Southern's Director-Strategic Planning in Norfolk, Va., after a career spanning over forty years.
Bill has harbored a lifelong interest in railroads in general, and railroad history in particular. While at college, he made numerous trips to western North Carolina to ride and photograph passenger trains, including the Asheville Special and the Carolina Special. He actually rode over Saluda Grade on the Carolina Special seven times over the years 1966-1968, and once more on a special excursion train in 1972. He skipped a few classes to photograph the last Carolina Special climbing the grade on December 5, 1968.
In 1986 Bill helped found the Southern Railway Historical Association, which preserves and disseminates information related to the Southern Railway, principally through its quarterly journal, TIES Magazine. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, which restores, maintains, and operates historic Southern Railway equipment.
Bill and his wife, Linda, travel extensively, but call Virginia Beach, Virginia, home.
Bill will bring some back issues of TIES Magazine for sale ($9) that feature Saluda and/or the Carolina Special, a small supply of SRHA's 2019 all-color calendar ($10); one of the months (December) features a photo of the steam-powered Carolina Special on Saluda Grade. Some of the proceeds from these sales will be donated to the Saluda Historic Depot.
Raymond "Bo" Brown from Spartanburg, SC
will return to the Depot after presenting, How "The Southern" Served the South at Saluda Train Tales in 2017. He will be on hand to answer
questions about the history of Southern Railway Dining Car Service and will bring samples of dining service including, china patterns, silver hollowware, silver flatware, linens, menus, all things used in the dining car during their 84 years of Southern Railway passenger car service.
Carolyn Weisbecker, daughter of Francis B Fishburne
who commissioned the painting of the "Carolina Special" by the famous American artist Howard Fogg will be a special guest. Howard Fogg was known to "
single-handedly paint the trains of America into railroad history." Carolyn will tell the story behind the painting and will bring prints that will be for sale. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Saluda Historic Depot.
Her father, Francis B. Fishburne was a great friend of Frank Clodfelter, the Southern engineer who ran the Carolina Special for many years. Her grandfather, also named Francis. B. Fishburne, was a conductor on the Columbia to Asheville run for 40 years. He passed away in 1939.
We hope you can join us on December 5th at 6pm to salute the Carolina Special!
Groups Invited to Tour
We invite all groups, schools, and organizations to take a guided tour of the Depot. To arrange for a guided tour, please contact Judy Ward at 828-674-9598 or email to
Thanks to the following groups who have toured the Depot:
Hub City of Spartanburg
Baptist Church of Spartanburg
Broad River European Motor Club from Shelby, NC
Waynesville Parks & Recreation
Retired Polk County Teachers
Young People from Denmark
The Meeting Place
Lake Pointe Landing
Ardenwoods Retirement Community
Saluda Historic Depot
Annual Golf Tournament
Huge 2018 Fundraiser for Depot
Thanks to all who played the course, who sponsored this annual event, the volunteers, and the SHD board members especially board members Kay Garell and Judy Ward, for making this an outstanding event in 2018. This year's tournament was held at
Kenmure Country Club ,Western North Carolina's premier gated golf community.
Thanks to you, we raised over $13,000 in net proceeds that will help us to fund our budget for operational expenses and debt relief.
to view the fun had by all during 2018 Annual Golf Tournament at Kenmure Country Club.
We will be selecting a course for next year and will notify you on or before August 2019.
Saluda Train Tales
Saluda Train Tales is a free monthly event to educate the community in the importance of Saluda's railroad history and the Saluda Grade.
This year's line up included a mixture of railroad experts and local historians and story tellers of the region's rich history. Please check the Saluda Historic Depot Calendar for dates and speakers.
These events are at the Saluda Historic Depot, 32 W Main Street, Saluda, NC 28773. Doors open at 6:30. Presentation is 7:00pm to 8:00pm. The events are free and voluntary donations are appreciated.
Click here to see past Saluda Train Tales videos by Bob Keeton.
To see Videos of Saluda Train Tales by Bob Keeton,
Get Your Personal Annual Membership
Since the Saluda Historic Depot launched its first annual membership campaign we now have over NUMBER members. Individual memberships are available for $25 and include a 10% discount on our Depot Shop non consigned items, t-shirts, books, memorabilia and other gift items. This is an opportunity for all the friends of Saluda to help fulfill the vision of our iconic landmark. This is a great stocking stuffer!
Please send your $25 to the Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773, memo "2019 Membership". Be sure to watch your mailbox for your official membership card as confirmation of your donation.
There are great gift ideas for your railroad fan at the Depot!
All Gift Items 10% Off Starting Thanksgiving through December.
"Looking for a Christmas Gift and want to support the Depot" call and we can ship your order to you. Call 828-674-5958
to place orders.
New Inventory of T-Shirts, Sweat Shirts & Hoodies
In all sizes available at the Depot! Use your Membership Card and get 10% off all gifts in the Depot's Gift Station.
Saluda Train Tales Collection DVD
the "Saluda Train Tales"
is a collection
the Friday nighttrain t
and western NC.
Stroup, "Carolinas Railroad Heritage," Southern Railroad
Price is $23.
Books, Prints, and More
"Whangdoodles on Diaper Hill" My Childhood in Saluda
By Clark Thompson,
Saluda native and business owner launched the release of his book, "Whangdoodles on Diaper Hill," at Saluda Train Tales in May. This is a must-have book for your Saluda library that will enlighten you and sometimes make you laugh. $20.
"Our Vanishing Americana" by Mike Lassiter
With un-daunting energy and perseverance, Mike Lassiter spent six years traveling across the state of North Carolina, looking for the lifeblood of small towns. Lassiter's photo shoot turned into a decades-long odyssey covering 30,000 miles and 100 counties, yielding "Our Vanishing Americana," a 2006 photo book followed by a 2009 PBS documentary of the same name. 500+ Photos of Vanishing American Icons featuring Thompson's Store/Ward's Grill and M.A. Pace General Store. Price: $50
Carolina Special Print, painting by Howard Fogg, commissioned by Francis B Fishburne and family has donated prints to be sold at the Depot. Price: $45
A variety of DVD's of the 611 and Saluda Grade by Bob Loehne available.
Coming Soon and Taking Pre-Orders - Call Judy Ward 828-674-5958
Saluda, the Musical Sound Track on CD - $20
Saluda, the Musical DVD as recorded by Bob Keeton - $25
Two Join Saluda Historic Depot Board
The board of the Saluda Historic Depot is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members.
David O'Brien, Board Member
David and his wife, Mary, both grew up in Charlotte and met in Raleigh while he was in graduate school at NCSU and she was a secretary on campus. After 18 years in Iowa and 15 years in Indiana, they retired to the mountains they have always loved.
David's career spanned more than 40 years, including the time he spent at NCSU and NASA Langley Research Center obtaining a Ph.D. with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. His career has focused on testing, data analysis, dynamics, noise control, product troubleshooting, and program management with John Deere Product Engineering Center and Honeywell Aerospace Aircraft Landing Systems. Currently, David "e-commutes" as a Senior Technical Specialist for an engineering consulting firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he develops and implements applied mathematical techniques for experimental data analysis. In addition, David has been an adjunct instructor for the Mechanical Engineering Departments of three universities: NCSU, Iowa State, and Purdue.
In the 1950s David and his father were avid "steam engine watchers" which initiated his love for trains - making it only natural that he enjoys volunteering at the Saluda Historic Depot.
Dave has been a volunteer at the Depot for a number of years and has shared his love of trains and knowledge of the Saluda Grade with visitors. He has been a valuable resource to the board members and always willing to give a helping hand.
Bob Keeton, Member-At-Large
Bob Keeton comes from dual career paths. For more than 30 years, he worked in information technology for the State of Virginia and in broadcasting which included one of the first talk shows on satellite radio.
Before graduating from Va. Tech with majors in psychology and sociology, he was elected General Manager of WUVT, the student radio station. He oversaw the station's expansion to Radford University and the addition of WUVT-FM.
The information technology career resulted in managing audio and video teleconferencing for Virginia state agencies and institutions. He gained international notice for software he developed to schedule and track teleconferences. It was unique in giving agencies travel cost-avoidance information for each electronic meeting. He was called on to make presentations across the nation about the Department of Information Technology's approach to saving money using teleconferencing and telecourses.
He grew up in Richmond, retired from state service and moved to Colorado briefly, staying longer in Santa Fe, NM and then finding home in Tryon, NC.
Today, Keeton invests time doing video productions to support individuals and organizations in developing and delivering their messages. In addition to A/V production, his award-winning radio talk shows often feature author interviews. As writers became friends, some in Holland, Australia, and the U.S., they have sought his assistance with web site development and technical proof-reading.
More at http://www.LivingSuccessfully.com.
Bob has donated his time and videography talent to the Saluda Historic Depot almost since the beginning of its opening. He has videoed and edited Saluda Train Tales and produced high-quality videos that are available on the SaludaHistoricDepot.com website and also YouTube.
"We are excited to add these two members to our board. As the popularity of the Depot's museum grows and it becomes more and more of a tourist destination, we need people with fresh ideas and skills and talents to continue the success and growth of the museum," says chairperson, Judy Ward.
Early College Student Picks SHD for Graduate Project
Abigail Orlando, 17, a senior at
Polk County Early College
chose the Saluda Historic Depot as her graduate project to volunteer in the community. Judy Ward will be her "mentor" during her time at the Depot while she serves on the group organizing the annual golf tournament and volunteering at the Depot greeting visitors.
"I selected the Depot because I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the history of the town I live in and I am excited about being part of keeping that history alive," says Abigail.
Abigail will present an essay about her project early next year which goes toward her credits for obtaining an Associate Degree.
Polk County Early College began in Fall 2007 and is a collaborative, innovative high school between Polk County Schools and Isothermal Community College, in partnership with NC New Schools to ensure every student graduates ready for college, careers and life.
Saluda Historic Depot & Museum Donations
& Collection Policy
Since 2015 when the Depot opened, it has acquired most of its artifact collection through public donations. The "curator committee" consisting of designated Depot board members supervises the acquisition of artifacts. This is to assure that your donation meets the Depot's criteria for collections so that it can be displayed in the Depot with the appropriate exhibit space that it may deserve.
To donate an object, please contact the museum at 828-769-9016 or e-mail Mark Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org Plan to describe the object in detail and leave a detailed message, if necessary, so that your voice-mail or e-mail message can be replied to in a timely matter. If sending an email, attaching images of the artifact to your email will be incredibly helpful to the committee, as well. If you bring the artifact to the Depot, then please expect to leave it so that it can be evaluated for the museum collections. If it is not accepted, then you will be contacted to retrieve the item.
The committee will work with you to determine whether the object meets the museum's collecting criteria. Criteria for evaluating the object for acceptance into the collection include the following considerations:
- Was the object made or used in North Carolina?
- What is the object's historical significance?
- Can documentation (written or oral) on the object be found?
- Does the object need conservation work?
- Does the object support the existing collection?
- Is the object a duplicate?
- What is the object's exhibit potential?
- What impact would the object have on available storage space?
If the object meets enough criteria, the SHD curating committee will determine its suitability, and someone from the committee will notify you of the committee's decision and arrange for delivery or pick up.
If the object is accepted, you will receive a deed of gift form. This legal document certifies that the object is yours to donate and that you agree to assign all rights associated with the object to the museum. When you sign and return the deed of gift, the object becomes part of the collection of the Saluda Historic Depot. (See other side of this form.)
If the object is on loan and not gifted to the Depot, then you will receive a "Donation/Loan" form that certifies the object is yours to donate and that you agree to release and indemnify the Depot from any loss of damage that may occur to your object while held on display at the Depot.
Thank you for considering the Saluda Historic Depot as a potential home for your artifact or memorabilia.
Saluda Historic Depot Calendar
Mark Your Calendars
November 16 - Saluda Tales with Alex Salley, "Tales of Saluda"
November 17 - "Saluda." the Musical, a historical depiction of Our Town musical at the Party Place & Event Center
December 5 - Reception to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Carolina Special's Last Run up the Saluda Grade
December 14 - Hometown Christmas
December 21 - Saluda Train Tales-Movie Night with the Polar Express
Saluda Train Tales will finish it's run for 2018 and start again on March 15, 2019
Interested in History? Be a Museum Volunteer!
Thank You to Depot Volunteers
Thank you to these following volunteers:
Anita Ogden Moore, Ann Dudley, Bruce Jayne, Sarah Jayne, Bill Klippel, Chuck DuCharme, David O'Brien, Evan Lazer, Helene Pasternak, Jack Milhaupt, Mike Boyce, Mike Gleaton, Mike Kozma, Mike Reeves, Rich Miller, Tim Driggers, Jack Medlin, Susan Cannon, Norm Allen, Bruce Campbell, Sid Shealey, and Bob Keeton, Videographer
Interested in History? Be a Museum Volunteer!
The Saluda Historic Depot is always looking for volunteers to greet visitors and tell the story of the Saluda Grade. If you have some time to share, then call Anita Moore at 828-749-3335 or 404-626-2090.
If you would like to know more about being a volunteer, you are invited to attend the monthly Volunteer Informational and Training session on 2nd Tuesday of month at 11am at the Depot. No training in December.
Giving and Donating
Your donations to the Depot are tax deductible! Please consider giving before December 31 to receive a 2018 Tax Deduction!
The SHD board cannot express enough times how grateful we are to the community, volunteers, sponsors, individual donors, and grantors of funds that without this support would not make your Depot and Museum sustainable.
Polk County Community Foundation
Polk County Appearance Commission
Henderson County Community Foundation
Don Mintz Builders
WHKP Radio Meritor
Saluda Business Association
Horizon Heating & Air
Nelon-Cole Pest Control
If you would like to support Saluda's railroad and heritage museum, please send donations to Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or through Paypal at
website. In-kind gifts are appreciated, too! Saluda Historic Depot is a 501(3) non-profit and all donations are deductible.
While shopping online, we invite you to shop
SmileAmazon.com and select Saluda Historic Depot as your favorite charity. A small portion of your purchase will be donated to the Depot fundraising.
Stop in and have some fun taking your photo in front of our Locomotive!
Click here to
Learn More About the History of the Railroad
Donations and memberships to the Saluda Historic Depot in 2018 will enable us to receive incentive grant funds from the Polk County Community Foundation.
Saluda Historic Depot is a 501(c)3 non profit and all donations are tax deductible.
Thank you to all of the donors, sponsors and supporters of the Saluda Historic Depot.
Saluda Historic Depot Board Members
Memberships and Donations to the Saluda Historic Depot in 2018 will enable us to receive incentive grant funds from the Polk County Community Foundation.
32 W Main Street, Saluda, NC 28773
PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773