Mike Reeves, board chair of the Saluda Historic Depot & Museum, fills us in on some of the early history of the train in Saluda and how it has shaped the small town into a viable destination.
Garland Goodwin has led a life filled with accomplishments. One of my favorite stories was how as a young child he hand-lettered programs for a music performance by Eunice Waymon. Only a few years later, Eunice changed her name to Nina Simone. Garland has helped designed fighter jets and commercial aircraft. He's still writing a local column for The Tryon Daily Bulletin. He's a living legend.
Not to go into any details, but I found myself in a local laundromat the other evening. That might become an eventual episode in “The Country Life with ColumbusMark.” But the thing that caught my eye (other than most of the washers being out of order) were these very old-looking video games. Maybe my friend and expert on such matters, MikeMartin, knows if these are the real deal? But in the meantime…they at least looked like they were in working order. For sure they’ve seen their share of quarters.
Today in Columbus (NC) a special celebration was held on this Constitution Day. A new addition of things to see was officially unveiled in an impressive ceremony held at Veteran’s Park. A program to dedicate a set of “The Charters of Freedom” was held with plenty of pageantry. While the photos can only give you a visual idea, the sounds included the Polk County High School Band, a drummer, a bagpiper, canon fire, and speeches. The Polk County Honor Guard presented the colors and plenty of local and state dignitaries were on hand to accept this impressive collection. The program ended with the canon salute and the release of 13 white doves by L.J Meyers of Homeward Angel White Dove Releases.
The document replicas set in sturdy enclosures with two-inch glass covers include The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. The documents are engraved into brass plates. Attendees could sign a book that will be one of the objects placed in the time capsule, which will be sealed at another upcoming event and not opened until Constitution Day on September 17, 2087. (Check back then to see photos of the capsule being opened.)
The Charters of Freedom program is part of Foundation Forward, Inc. based in Valdese. One of their goals is to have similar installations across the United States.
Click each photo to see an expanded view.
The folks on American Pickers could learn some things from Lyddie Shaneberger. Lyddie (a nickname for Lydia) has been picking since she was one year old. Okay, maybe not quite that far back but that’s when she attended her first auction. Who knew this would be the beginning of a career direction and the creation of Lyddie’s business LS Mercantile + Salvage Co.
Now 25 years later, Lyddie can thank her parents for starting her out in the world of picking. They took her to that first auction and she hasn’t looked back since. She says picking is in her blood or perhaps it was her parents raising her with an appreciation of history and storytelling. Lyddie especially appreciates the storytelling part. She loves to ask questions and discover answers to the “treasures” she’s collecting. Where’d it come from? What is it? How old is this? Who are the people who once owned this? As Lyddie spent years learning about the business, it wasn’t until she was a teenager when she started to understand the monetary value of the items. And she understood the potential to “recycle” them or repurpose them and hopefully match up a buyer to her discoveries.
At age 16 Lyddie was already setting up shop; selling online with her own Etsy store. Just the year before her family’s life changed forever. Her father had an accident, a 30-foot fall from a hunting tree stand. He was left unable to walk. Lyddie looked for ways to help with family finances and that’s when she realized that her love of picking might not only help the family situation but could be her life’s calling. It has not always been an easy road.
“You won’t make it” is a phrase Lyddie says she and many other would-be small business owners have heard. For some, it’s enough to discourage them from trying. But for Lyddie…it was a challenge she would face head on. With encouragement from her parents, her boyfriend Dave, and her circle of friends - Lyddie has worked to take “pickin’ vintage” to the level of a serious small business endeavor.
Lyddie usually travels the Southern states but she’s planning a foray to the Northeast this coming fall. She’s forever on the lookout for the next big find. She says she doesn’t care to follow “trend” as some people in the business suggest. Instead she prefers to follow her heart. She picks what she loves and knows that someone else will love it too. There have been times when Lyddie has only had a $20 bill in her pocket and got lucky and found items that were worth hundreds. It happens. It takes street smarts. Lyddie Shaneberger has them.
Lyddie’s goal is to have her own storefront somewhere. It would also involve curating collections for people’s homes, having a space for artisans and makers, and possibly a market for each season for others like her to come together and create an experience that would be so good she could make Country Livingmagazine one day. She also hopes to graduate spring 2020 and even possibly start a MBA program while her boyfriend finishes his Ph.D. at Clemson.
Lyddie Shaneberger has some advice for would-be small business owners. “Do it. Do it with all of your heart and your patience. Be passionate about what you do and you’ll never wake up not wanting to go to work on a Monday. Work hard, be strong, and don’t let others get under your skin. You control your own life. So create who you want to be.”
Lyddie’s story should be an inspiration to us all.
More to know
You can find Lyddie’s unique collection of pickins’ at her space at “Workshop Vintage Market” at 108 North Lafayette Street in downtown Shelby and is open Monday, Tuesday, Saturday from 10 until 2 and Thursday & Friday 10 - 5:30. Do a search on Etsy using LS Mercantile + Salvage Co. to find her space in the cloud. Lyddie is also on Facebook and Instagram and you can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lyddie was born and raised in Forest City and is appreciative of the sense of hard work instilled in her by her parents.
Rekindling the Past
Dad’s Collectibles has been around 20 years with most of those years being owned by Dean McWilliams in Hendersonville. When Dean was ready to slow down he handpicked Mark to be his successor. Mark moved the business to Saluda in October 2017. Nancy Pew is his partner who has helped make the store possible with financial support, business experience, and marketing skills.
Mark doesn’t just deal with models. He’s also into the big boy toys. He drives a ‘67 Ford LTD. You can’t miss it since he drives it to work when he doesn’t walk. You’ll see Holman-Moody decals proudly embellishing this perfectly restored car. Mark has worked with Holman-Moody for 20 years and now even sells their apparel in Dad’s Collectibles. Mark still has a body shop in Hendersonville where he orchestrates the work on restoring other unique vehicles. He’s excited about a 1966 North Carolina Highway Patrol Custom 500 that will be shared with the North Carolina Transportation Museum and will be featured at trade shows. And if you enjoy a brew or two in the gardens area at Sierra Nevada in Mills River and notice that little beer truck out back…that’s his restoration as well!
Mark has lots of projects ahead of him including seeing an excursion train run from Saluda to Zirconia. He has more cars to restore and more stories to tell. Throw your kids in your car, drive back in time, and visit Mark Ray and Dad’s Collectibles before they glue their eyes back to the screen on their phone. It’s worth your time.
More to Know
Dad’s Collectibles is located at 32 W. Main Street in Saluda and is inside the Historic Saluda Depot. Store hours are 10:30 – 5, Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment. Mark’s website is www.DadsCats.com and you can email him at email@example.com.
Shop phone is 828/ 769-9016.
Click each photo to see an enlarged version in the gallery.
Since the train stopped running there has been talk of transforming the track into a “Rails-to-Trails” conversion or possibly getting an excursion train to operate. Norfolk-Southern isn’t about to abandon this track though it is now officially “out of service” from Saluda to just beyond Landrum, SC. There is a shortline railroad that is currently hauling freight from the Hendersonville area to Asheville and some talk has been circulating that the company might start an excursion train experience. A lot of rail fans would love to see that line extend to Saluda. I would definitely be among the first standing in line to buy a ticket for that. I’m guessing it would be a very long line.
Mike Reeves and Evan Lazer are two of the volunteer docents and were busy helping visitors the day I visited. Nancy Pew (third from left) is a friend of the museum and helps out at the shop next door so that owner Mark Ray can step in and open the depot on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Judy Ward on the right is the chair of the museum board. It takes a village to keep something like this running without any paid staff.
More to Know:
The Saluda Historic Depot and Museum is open every day except Monday. Times vary. Check the website at: www.saludahistoricdepot.com and their Facebook page for more info. The museum has a well-stocked gift shop along with their excellent professionally built exhibits including a “Z scale” model of the entire run down the famous Saluda Grade to Melrose Junction. To take your own trip down the grade from the safety of your laptop, check out an excellent YouTube video by Bob Keeton at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsS3fbhuJPg. The video combines original music by “The Carburetors” and Google Earth images into a fascinating “trip” that will give you a sense of the run. The Saluda Historic Depot offers tours, monthly “Train Tales” presentations, and has a couple of upcoming fundraising events including a 60s-themed party at the Party & Event Center in Saluda in July and a golf tournament in October at Kenmure. It’s a happening place!
Click on each photo in the gallery below to enlarge.
...retired in 2017 from a life of work, mostly in education. I decided it was time to stop commuting and stay at home a while. Foothills Faces is meant to bring you short snippets of life through photography, videography, and audio recordings of some of the wonderful people and places of the Carolina Foothills..