Stokes County Partnership for Children Executive Director Cindy Tuttle has recently co-authored a new book about the town of Saluda.
Her father, Joseph “Joe” Raymond Stephenson Jr., was raised in Saluda, while Cindy grew up spending summers and holidays at her grandparents’ farm on the Howard Gap Road. She developed a deep appreciation for Saluda’s history by listening to her grandmother Kathleen Garren Stephenson Jelley recite family lore, including stories about her great-grandfather O.B. Garren, whose photographs are featured in this book.
Burrell Pope Pace, a founding father of Saluda and Peter Guice, for whom the Green River Bridge is named, are both her fourth-great-grandfathers. She hopes to retire in Saluda with her husband, Brad. Tuttle currently chairs the oral history project and is the founder and co-chair of the Historic Saluda Committee.
She partnered with Mary Ann Hester, a freelance writer and public relations consultant with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota, to author Arcadia Publishing’s new Images of America Saluda.
The book boasts many vintage images that have never been published, and showcases memories of days gone by.
With the steepest standard-gauge mainland railway grade in the United States, the first passenger train to Saluda, came up the mountain on July 4, 1878. Pace’s Gap, as Saluda was first called, was a popular stopover for traders heading out of the mountains.
Today, Saluda is a thriving town for residents and visitors. Hiking trails abound, and the Green River Narrows Race attracts some of the best paddlers in the world. Less strenuous pursuits, such as fishing, tubing, and kayaking, are also popular on the river. Coon Dog Day brings 10,000 visitors to town, and the Saluda Arts Festival is another popular weekend event. Saluda showcases the rich transportation and recreational history of this North Carolina mountain town.