The folks at the North Carolina Railroad Museum at Bonsal, NC, are working hard to restore 'our' old engine #110. Phillip White, Jim Ruppe and Wayne Smith, stalwarts of our society, visited Bonsal recently and reported the engine is lying around the repair yard in pieces, each getting individual attention. The restoration crew is documenting the progress thoroughly with descriptions, photos and video, much of which they'll share with us along the way.
Speaking of lying around in pieces, our town clock shut down awhile back. Due to a power failure during the clock's chime sequence, the electric motor locked down and got extremely hot. This resulted in the motor's windings needing rewound, and a solenoid and brake mechanism having to be replaced. Now, you can't go to Lowe's and buy parts for a hundred-year-old clock, so Phillip White, our official clock watcher did a weeks-long search for the defective parts. Having found them, Jim VanOrsdel put Humpty-Dumpty together again, and the old clock is back in tip-top operation.
Research Goes On
Jim Ruppe writes, "Phillip and I have GPS'd the main branch, the West Henrietta branch, and the Avondale branch of the Cliffside Railroad, and were going to finish the Main Broad River branch, but we let the trees leaf out before we could get it completed. (Once the canopy is covered, the hand-held GPS unit goes crazy with the satellite signal bouncing everywhere!)
Ina Fortune Haynes' writings were not scribblings, nor were they unimportant; she just liked to call them that. They were the columns she wrote for the Courier in the years 1938-1941. We've unearthed and posted over 30 of them. We trust you'll enjoy her musings on topics both weighty and trivial in those innocent times.
Who lived where in Cliffside? If you're interested in 1964, we've found an old county cross-reference directory that lists 667 individuals on the streets and roads in and around Cliffside.
The latest: stories of a true pioneer of Cliffside, James Edward Atkinson (1857-1954), the author's grandfather.
Travel along any road or street and you'll something of interest. A patch of flowers, an abandoned building, there's likely to be a story behind it.
In the 1920's, Helen Davis and Victor Young were nationally-known performers. Thomas Edison hired them to go on tour to demonstrate his new phonograph. They appeared in some of the largest venues in the country—and in Cliffside!
Find the house where you lived and the streets where you walked and played, on this map drawn in 1942.
Nickel & Dimed
In the '60s Cliffside residents underwent two different rent increases. The first was 10¢ a room, then four years later, 40¢. There were other increases, too, on car sheds and other conveniences. The old homes were wearing out at a rapid pace, and the increases were inevitable.
From The Rutherford County Sun, dozens of articles and columns from the late 1920s, describing events both tragic and humorous; changes to the town; advertising by Cliffside stores and businesses; and community, school and church news.
1920 Time Line
We've 'harvested' a lot of information from newspapers of 1920 and created a time line of sorts, along with a peek behind the scenes at how we get all this stuff. It might have been fun to live back then, even with bad roads, silent movies, ice boxes, etc. That was the year the Yankees bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox, but baseball wasn't yet the national pastime. It would be years before games could be heard on radio.
Since we no longer post Photos of the Month, we've added a new ever-expanding gallery. Nostalgic photos of this and that, taken in the old days of Cliffside.
We have a new section in our History/WWII files called "People." The first article in this section, contributed by Carl Sparks, Jr., is a birthday tribute to his father, who would have been 91 this March 24th. Carl, Sr. was a paratrooper in WWII and fought in the battles of Leyte and Luzon in the Philipines.
Send us your "people" stories.
Claude Scruggs, shown here with his wife Aquilla, won the 'marathon,' a foot race from the Junction to downtown Cliffside (about 3.5 miles). The racers ran alongside the railroad tracks —as a train filled with spectators moved alongside them, giving new meaning to the word "grandstand."
Oh, did we mention, the race was held in 1910, about 45 years before this photo was taken.
He Stayed, Then He Left
Unless you study or teach there (or have forgotten), you might not be aware that Phillip White retired as principal of Cliffside School — well, actually about 8 years ago! Yes, after 36 terms, he hung up that famous intimidating leather strap he inherited from Mr. Beatty back in 1967.
They Remembered When
On Cliffside School's 75th anniversary (in 1997), five of those who were present at the 1922 dedication recall their years as students in the magnificent new building.
Writings of Charles Robinson
He grew up on the family farm out on Highway 120, graduating from Cliffside High in 1945. He attended UNC in Chapel Hill for a couple of years. He spent most of his working years in Greensboro, selling insurance for the Pilot Life company. In all that time, he wrote stories, poems and memories for his own satisfaction. We've published some of them here.
Poems of Cliffside
“Listen, I’ve got to tell you—
Cannot keep it longer or be still—
Walked down the street one day last week
And got a job in the Cliffside Mill.”
That's just a taste of the poetic offerings you'll find in this section.
Tri-Community Little League
If you played on a Tri-Community Little League team from its first year in 1957 to the present, you might find your team's photo here. There are 84 team photos (over 1200 players). And you'll learn how the Tri-Community franchise came about. Few of the players and coaches are identified. If you can identify any, contact us.
What year did your grandpa graduate from Cliffside High? (Don't know? We looked it up. It was 1948.) In the 80's, someone researched and compiled a list of graduates of every year there was a Cliffside High School (and the first two years of Chase High). We've created a digital version for your reference.
It's been a few months since ol' 110 was hauled from Stone Mountain, Ga. to its new home in Chatham County. Since then it's been repainted and dedicated. Read about it, and view our slideshow of its big move.
She's older than most people get, yet she's as lively as a lot of us youngsters. In her Family Story, Ottie Houser Roberson, the sister of Ealon, Yates, Lee and Maurice Houser, reveals a little-known detail about the Houser family: their original name!
For some of us, Charles H. Haynes (“Mr. Charley”) was a palpable presence during much of our lives. He assumed leadership of the Company upon his father's death in 1917, and for four decades, even after his retirement, exerted considerable influence on the town's administration and well-being. Here are accounts of several milestones in Mr. Charley's later life.
Down On The River
One fine day about 30 years ago, Roy Lee Harris took his four kids down to the Cliffside Mills dam site and, naturally, took his camera along. Here are a few of the photos he took that day. His daughter Sherry, shown at left, sent them to us.
More “Growing Up” Stories
You've enjoyed her Cliffside Sketches. Now, there's a new collection of JoAnn Huskey's stories —of Forest City in the '40's. She has fond memories of the people and places (and pets) of her childhood.
From these 51 faces, can you find someone you know?
This new Cliffside book is a sequel to the earlier "Faces & Places of Old Cliffside" with 246 pages of articles, essays, news stories, memoirs, anecdotes and 184 images, some never published. Like the other book, it's $24.95. Buy the pair of them for only $37.00 total, a savings of $12.90! Call 704 443-5214 to order.
“My Story” by Grover Haynes, Jr.
From his infancy to his Naval service in World II and Korea, Grover hits the highlights of his young years in Florida, at Chestnut Hill, on Hazelhurst Farm and in Cliffside.
“I am so happy to review the Cliffside memories. My teachers also included Miss Dickerson; Mr Huff [Huss], math teacher; Mr. Beatty, principal. I listened to the presidents speech on the radio in class the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor...”
— Ruby Ward Cervino
Did you ever wonder how it all started? In our Documents section we've added the Articles of Incorporation for Cliffside Mills, dated February 4, 1901. It's the agreement between R. R. Haynes and his other partners to start a business that would prosper for over 100 years.
Remember those old two, three and four digit phone numbers? Find the number of everyone in town in the Rutherford County Phone Directory for 1944.
Browse through these and many other old Cliffside papers. This is history, folks.
Visit The Archives
The snippets on this page appear for only a few months and then, alas, in order to make room for new features, they vanish into thin air.
Or do they?
Actually they don't vanish at all, but take up residence on one of our archives pages. Browse through them occasionally. You may find an item you missed when it was first published.
Note: None of the pages on this site is ever archived, all remain wherever they were first stored, in History, Memories, etc. Only these front-page teasers are moved to the archive section.
Man for All Seasons
Raleigh Biggerstaff, whose biography someone should write, was one of Cliffside's most talented people. Here's a sketch he made for the cover of a reunion program in 1988.