Spring Park in Saluda: small treasure

Published 9:44 am Friday, April 13, 2012

Saluda’s historic Spring Park maintained by Saluda’s Garden Club is located behind Saluda City Hall. The small park offers a peaceful respite to passerby, with flowering azaleas, woodland plants and stone paths leading to the quiet spring. (photo by Bonnie J. Bardos)

Looking for a small slice of nature and sense of peace to restore spirit and mind? Passerby would never guess that hidden behind Saluda’s historic City Hall/Police Department building at Main and Church Street, is a small treasure of a quiet, cool little park, featuring a peaceful rock-lined spring tucked down amid stones, soft tender green ferns and all manner of woodland plants. Stone benches and gentle paths lead down among flowering azaleas to the quiet spring. There’s a sacred feeling here: a sense and reverence of the past, nature, of rest. No visitor could leave this place without a feeling of peacefulness and respite.
Spring Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and was referred to in deeds pertaining to the Saluda City Hall property as far back to 1896 — the spring has a marker noting circa 1830, and Spring Park is circa mid 1700s. This spring was one of several springs that supplied Saluda with water in the town’s earliest years — it probably was used even earlier by Native Americans, as a horse watering spot, and to lend refreshment to dusty travelers.  Later it was covered, as were other springs. In 1980, the spring was reclaimed and converted into a small, peaceful park with stone steps, a wood fence on the north edge, and a large shade tree; it’s also a registered wildlife habitat.