The historic depot is a modern icon of Saluda’s beginning and subsequent prosperity with the coming of the train bringing passengers up the Saluda Grade, the steepest mainline standard gauge railroad grade in the country. Because brave men hammered up the treacherous side of Melrose Mountain, the small mountain village of Saluda came into being.
Today, it is a thriving community with a historic downtown district of prospering shops and restaurants. The town is surrounded by mountains and deep valleys in the Green River Gorge. These natural resources have drawn outdoor adventurists to bicycle, fish, zipline, kayak and hike the local mountain trails. These enthusiasts eat, stay, and shop in Saluda’s businesses.
In June of 2016, after an 18 month journey, a group of citizens in Saluda organized and created a 501(c) 3 non-profit LLC, named the Saluda Historic Depot (SHD) to purchase the building and create a train and heritage museum. The purchase of this historic depot building, located at 32 W Main Street, Saluda, NC was officially closed on June 10, 2016.
The depot, built in 1903, on Highway 176 about ¼ mile past the bridge, is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It has a long history in Saluda including its eventual move from the original location to its current location on Main Street. The depot had been used for retail space until 2015 when, the then current owner, Clark Thompson, decided to put it up for sale. It was this opportunity that prompted concerned citizens, who wanted to preserve the depot’s authenticity and history, to create the Saluda Historic Depot.
This project has not ended, but is merely beginning. The depot has an ongoing monthly expenses as well as loan payments that must be made. The board of SHD will continue to work non-stop to raise money, refine the museum, hold events, and write grants. Without the continued support, donations, and sponsorships from all of the citizens and businesses of Saluda, as well as Henderson County, Polk County and visitors from out of town, this will not be sustained.
The depot board expresses our continued gratitude for all of the donations from Saluda citizens, businesses, other individuals, visitors, and retail sales, as well as the generous corporate sponsors like Entegra Bank, Riverstreet Networks, Ken Smith, and WHKP Radio who have become major sponsors of SHD.
Please donate by clicking the PayPal link below to contribute to this important part of Saluda History.