Two new members join Saluda Historic Depot Board

Published 8:00 am Friday, October 12, 2018

The board of the Saluda Historic Depot recently announced the addition of two new board members: David O’Brien, board member, and Bob Keeton, member-at-large.

“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,” said Saluda Historic Depot Chairperson Judy Ward. 

David O’Brien

O’Brien 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.

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O’Brien’s currently “ecommutes” 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, O’Brien has been an adjunct instructor for the Mechanical Engineering Departments of three universities: NCSU, Iowa State and Purdue.

In the 1950s, O’Brien 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. O’Brien 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.

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. 

Bob Keeton

He grew up in Richmond, retired from state service and moved to Colorado briefly, staying longer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then finding a home in Tryon.

Today, Keeton invests time doing video productions to support individuals and organizations in developing and delivering their messages. 

Keeton 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 videos that are available on and also on YouTube.

Those interested in learning more about the depot can contact Ward at 828-674-5958 or

– Submitted by Cathy Jackson