Remembering Pearson’s Falls

Published 9:17 am Monday, September 20, 2021

Remember When 


When I called the number for Pearson’s Falls, the young man who answered did not remember The Glen before the storm of 1993, so he referred me to the Tryon Garden Club Historian, Joy Soderquist. Joy sent me references that confirmed the spelling of “Lightner Ledge” and included references to Donald Culross Peattie’s booklet. I still have my copy. 

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I had written that not only the unique flora, but the sign was gone from the Ledge; Joy said that the sign is still there, but sort of obscured. Anyway, I had missed it, but also noted that the Ledge is now bathed in bright sunlight instead of the former deep shade.

I understand that when tropical storm Jerry (not so much the famous storm of 1993) knocked down many trees, the Garden Club was dismayed as to how to repair the extensive damage, including the re-routing of Colt Creek. Fortunately, a man showed up with his horses (or mules) and a drag pan, and set to work. The trail to the falls was restored and the trees were cut up and hauled away.

Joy told me that The Glen has been heavily damaged many times, including the re-routing of the creek. The archives do not list my story of the drag pan, so I just have to chalk that one up to hearsay. I don’t remember who told me that; but we have been visiting Pearson’s Falls Glen for more than 60 years. It is part of my heritage as a Polk County boy.

We owe the preservation of The Glen to Frances and Clarence Lightner and the Tryon Garden Club. That club also maintains the grounds of the former railway depot in Tryon.

The club was organized by women in 1928 and accepted men in 2007. Some honorary men admitted earlier were Carter Brown, Oliver Freeman, Seth Vining Sr. and John Vining.

Polk County’s daughters have been some of the “movers and shakers” of our county for more years than I have been around. I have written appreciations for them several times, mentioning the founding of the Lanier Library (who also admitted men years later), Anna Conner’s program for the Polk County Historical Association she called “First Ladies of Polk County” (my friends Opal Pittman Sauve, Judy Pittman Arledge, Doris McClure Scoggins, and Susan Smith Leonard McHugh) and our first woman president of the now defunct Columbus Lions Club, Louise Metcalf Cochran, to name some.

I used to think that using the ATM was indicative of poor financial planning; one had to prepare for the limited open hours of the banks and the Post Office. Now I use the ATM more often than the bank, as their open hours are even more curtailed by Covid. 

I enjoyed patronizing the Fleet Post Office in San Diego when we lived there. It was open 24/7, so I was often there nights and weekends buying stamps and mailing packages. There was almost never a line at the window, even at Christmas.

Former Columbus Lion Roger Newman is in Laurel Woods now. His attendance at our Saturday morning breakfasts at Bojangles has been sporadic of late. Now I will have to await the loosening of the ties that bind us at White Oak Manor to visit him.

Roger did a mountain of work for us Lions when our Lighted Cross was removed from Tryon Peak. Roger set to work trying to find an alternate site, visible from both Tryon and Columbus; none met this requirement, so that era ended . . . 

Clarence Henson has also moved into Laurel Woods. He was my classmate at Tryon School and rode the same school bus route with me. Clarence was generally pretty quiet, unlike many of us. I think he is still quite handsome, and I’ve missed his presence at our breakfasts of late. Now I know why.     

Adlai Stevenson has died at 90; he was one of the more intelligent candidates for President of our USA.