Next Saluda Train Tales to feature talk on city’s first photographer

Published 8:00 am Friday, September 14, 2018

The public is invited to a conversation with Cindy Stephenson Tuttle, great-granddaughter of Otho Brownlow Garren — a prolific and creative photographer and building contractor during Saluda’s early days — during the next Saluda Train Tales at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21.  

Tuttle will share her collection of Garren’s photographs, and will tell the audience stories passed down to her through oral history and research. 

Otho Brownlow “OB” Garren

Also included will be images and facts about many of the homes built by Garren in Saluda.

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Garren, better known as “OB,” lived during the exciting days of the boom of the railroad and the birth of his hometown, Saluda. Garren was born in Pace’s Gap, which later became Saluda, on April 22, 1872, and died there Aug. 1, 1940, at 68 years old.

Garren and his brother, Jethro Garren, were responsible for many of the early photographs of Saluda that document its early days. He also constructed many homes in Saluda.

Tuttle is the chair and founder of the Historic Saluda Committee, co-author of the book, “Saluda: Images of America,” creator and producer of the film documentary “Going Home: Saluda’s Music Traditions,” executive producer of the film documentary “Home, Hearth and History: Stories of Old Saluda,” and executive producer of the audio documentary “Saluda: Voices from the First 100 Years.” Presently, she is working on another film documentary through the Historic Saluda Committee titled “Growing Gratitude: Memories of a Mid-20th-Century Childhood in Saluda, NC with Pearlie Mae Suber Harris.”

Tuttle is a part-time resident of Saluda, and lives full-time in King, North Carolina. She is the executive director of Stokes Partnership for Children. 

Saluda Train Tales is a free monthly event to educate the community about the importance of Saluda’s railroad history and the Saluda Grade. These events are at the Saluda Historic Depot, 32 W. Main St., Saluda. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The events are free.

– Submitted by Cathy Jackson