Scott Varn announced as guest speaker for August ‘Train Tales’

Published 12:01 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2023

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SALUDA—The Saluda Historic Depot and Museum will present Saluda Train Tales on Friday, August 25, featuring guest speaker Scott Varn.

Varn’s topic for the presentation is the history of the Buncombe Turnpike built between 1824 and 1828. 

The Turnpike opened the mountain region of North Carolina to settlement, stagecoaches, mail delivery and eventually railroad transportation. 

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Because of his keen interest in history, Varn retraced the Buncombe Turnpike in 2021. He traversed the Turnpike by foot, horseback and by boat, which gave him interesting insights regarding its history. Scott will be sharing old photography, artwork and stories of his journey along the old Buncombe Turnpike route. 

Varn is a Fine Arts and Media Arts graduate from the University of South Carolina, with a focus on printmaking, film and animation. Scott has a long history of incorporating technology into the arts. He was integral in the early digital renaissance, working with software companies like Aldus, Adobe and Quark to develop software for artists and designers before it became standard.

Although he has spent years weaving the arts into many high-tech fields, he never lost his love of studying history and classic art mediums. He remained a painter and printmaker but also focused on being a long-time environmental educator, a Scoutmaster and a nature counselor. He made the connection to them all when discovering the 1800s publication Picturesque America. He understood its impact, so bringing the influence and lessons from PA to the modern world became his passion.

Now serving as the founder and Executive Director of Preserving A Picturesque America, Scott has the opportunity to bring all of his skills to bear, as he has become a guiding spirit to artists and all lovers of the natural world who want to protect it.  

The program begins at 7 p.m. and doors will open at 6:30. Train Tales is being held on the fourth Friday rather than the third Friday in order to not conflict with the Top of the Grade Concert. The Saluda Historic Depot and Museum is located at 32 W Main St. in Saluda.


Submitted by Nita High