Saluda Historic Depot launches membership campaign

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Following the example of railroader Captain Charles Pearson, you can be guaranteed a place in Saluda history by purchasing an annual Saluda Historic Depot membership, beginning this year.

In 1878, Pearson accepted the challenge of what many considered an insurmountable task. This brave visionary and chief engineer had faith in the goal and determination to succeed. In less than a year, his industrious crew had hammered miles of steel rails up the steep treacherous side of Melrose Mountain to crest at 2,097 feet. The trains that traversed these legendary rails would transform the small settlement town of Saluda into the getaway destination it is today.

The sound of engines and train whistles are captured in fond memory now that the rails running up the Saluda Grade and through downtown are no longer in use. But the Saluda Historic Depot stirs with activity due to the energy of those working to preserve its history. Their efforts have been fueled by local residents and other visitors who enthusiastically support this endeavor. With this in mind, the membership was created.

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Become a contributing member and share the vision to preserve Saluda’s most treasured landmark. Your membership will help to establish a sustainable cultural museum attraction, enticing visitors near and far by providing education, history, exhibits, special events, and a welcome center and gift shop. But most of all, to share in the enjoyment of trains, the scale models on display, the museum quality storyboards on the walls, the train tales being brought to life by guest speakers and local storytellers, all reflecting their special place in the lives of present and past generations.

We have made it easy to join by using PayPal at Just click on the “How You Make a Difference” page and a Membership Card will be mailed to you. Membership cards can also be purchased at the Saluda Historic Depot, 32 W. Main St., Saluda or Thompson’s Store at 24 Main St., Saluda.

Memberships and donations to the Saluda Historic Depot in 2017 will enable us to receive matching grant funds from the Polk County Community Foundation. 

Our slogan when launching the effort to save the depot was, “I think we can, I think we can, I think we can” and in 2016 we purchased this Saluda historic landmark. Like the helper engines pushing the trains up the grade, we invite you to become part of our mission to keep us on track!

For more information, call Judy Ward at 828-674-5958 or email

– article submitted by Cathy Jackson