Saluda Township Today

Saluda Township, Jefferson County, Indiana today has 1,358 residents in 37.5 square miles. In this population there are 692 males (51%) and 666 females (49%). The average household size is 2.7 people compared to 2.5 in the Indiana state average. Population density is 36 people per square mile which is rated as “low” for the United States.

In reviewing ancestries, it’s reported that within the Saluda population 47% are United States/North American; 19% are of German decent; 7% are of Irish decent; 7% are of Scottish decent; 4% are of Scottish-Irish decent and 2% have French ancestries.

Students in private schools vs public schools: (Grades 1-8) 5% in private schools

Students in private schools vs public schools (Grades 9 – 12); 9% in private schools

For more detailed statistics on Saluda Township visit http://www.city-data.com/township/Saluda-Jefferson-IN.html.

Saluda Today

Saluda Township today still remains close to our hearts whether we live in the area or somewhere else. Maurice Auxier, Saluda High Class of 1953, recently took photos around Saluda Township and wanted to share them on this page. If you have any photos you would like to share, please email them to contact@saludaalumni.com and we’ll post them on this website for you.

“Saluda Today” by Maurice Auxier

When we started working on the Saluda High Alumni website, I thought it would be nice to add a photo presentation of scenes in Saluda Township today, such as old houses, barns, graveyards and scenic places including the numerous waterfalls and rock formations that are so prevalent in the area. So with a digital camera and a large memory chip, I set out on this adventure. I found many great scenes to share, but was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster during this endeavor.

If you want to view all of the photographs, it may take you about 35 minutes to run through them, allowing about a five second interval for each picture. Some of the pictures will have a caption below them, while others will be self explanatory.

Visiting the Old Hunt Farm

The first day of picture taking was done on the old Hunt Farm, which was where my Grandfather Auxier settled when he moved to Indiana from the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. After a few hours of climbing up and down the hills, I soon realized this would probably be the last time that I would visit some of these places due to the physical strength required to access them. (One suddenly becomes aware of one’s own mortality.) This was something that I experienced numerous times, in many different ways, through weeks of my photo adventure.

The Hunt Farm is a place I have visited many times over the years. I took my boys there when they were growing up. They played and swam in the creeks and dreamed of finding the “gold” that supposedly the Hunt family had buried (a dream, I’m sure that was shared by the boys’ late aunts, uncles and cousins) to prevent Morgan’s raiders from confiscating it. According to the story, Mr. Hunt was killed by a bull before he could disclose the burial location. I have not heard the buried gold story mentioned in a few years. The story has disappeared like so many other things in Saluda Township.

Note: I am sure that some of you Saluda Township history buffs out there might challenge my story about the gold on the Hunt Farm. I just told it as I used to hear it, and I am not interested in turning loose of any of those old memories. In fact, I still think about that hidden gold, and some of the places it could have been buried.

Hiking Heart Falls


My wife Kendra and I left the Hunt place feeling tired, wet, dirty and eager for a hot shower. However, since our clothes were already such a mess, we decided to hike to the bottom of Hearts Falls, and mark that off of our list. We parked the truck on the river road near the mouth of the creek, and made the steep climb up to the base of the falls. The climb was slow and difficult, but after about 35 minutes, we arrived at the falls. It was the first time I had been there since I was a child, even though it’s only a quarter of a mile from my present home.

We took several pictures until darkness was upon us, and then we hiked back down the creek. We were making good progress until I slipped on a large moss-covered rock. My feet flew out from under me, and I landed on my left side and broke my glasses. My camera bag (with my camera inside) flew down the creek bed. I laid there for a few minutes thinking that I broke my ribs (again); however, I had them X-rayed the next day and found that they were only bruised.

Stranger in Town

While exploring Saluda Township with my camera, I learned that there was a stranger in town, and it was me! I quickly learned this when I had to ask permission before entering properties owned by people I no longer know. Then I discovered that 90 percent of the old houses I wanted to photograph were gone along with their former owners who have passed away and are in the five local cemeteries that I visited. It is hard for me to believe that I lived in this community for most of my life, and all of this has changed so quickly without me realizing it until I came here to take photographs. I am now a stranger in the same township where I grew up.

Relief at the Colbert Reed Farm

During my emotional roller coaster, I also had some emotional “highs” that I will share with you. I traveled to the Colbert Reed Farm where I found Margie baking cookies. She had just taken a fresh batch out of the oven, and she asked me if I would like one. All I can say is that if you haven’t eaten one of these cookies, you have missed something. Margie bakes one hell of a cookie.

Margie was gracious enough to allow me to take pictures of the Reed Mausoleum where her daughter Mary Jo, and her late husband, Courbet, are buried. Margie and I had a nice conversation and parted company, both agreeing that getting old is the “pits.”

The Benham Home

My next stop was at the Bertha Benham home. Bertha invited me in and let me take some pictures inside her home. I had not realized that Bertha’s great grandson Troy is a graduate of the Naval Academy and served as an aid to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. This is something that Bertha and Sherry, who was also there, were very proud of.

Before I left, Bertha showed me the remnants of the old Cincinnati to Louisville road that cuts through their yard. Bertha has gone to great lengths over the years to preserve this small piece of history. While taking pictures of Cupe’s old barns and using a little imagination, I could see him sitting there in his Model A Ford with his dog perched on the fender eager to go.

Visiting the Paul Gammon Farm

The next stop was the Paul Gammon Farm where I found Paul working in the garden. Paul’s farm is probably one of the few places that have remained unchanged over the years. You can almost hear the hum of a thrashing machine and the clinking of cow bells. I encourage you to visit Paul’s farm where you can still journey into the past (with Paul’s permission, of course).

The ‘Ole Swim’n Hole


I left Paul’s place and headed back to Hanover where I picked up my son Pat, and he and I went to Wendy’s for lunch. I then noticed sitting at a table next to us was one of my best friends, Ester Baylor, better known as “Tootsie.” I told her about my adventure in taking the pictures, and she asked me (in a rather loud voice) if I had taken a picture of the old swimming hole on the John Hay Farm. I told her I was actually there yesterday, and she asked me if I remembered when we used to skinny dip there. I noticed that the words “skinny dip” had caught the attention of my son Pat and several tables around us. I told her “no, she had me mixed up with either my brother Joe or maybe Nelson Hay,” but she insisted it was me. I left Wendy’s realizing that Tootsie had not been convinced and neither had my son Pat.

I hope you enjoy the pictures on this website, and if you have any questions or want to add more photos, please email me at contact@saludaalumni.com. But, please, don’t send any “swimming hole” pictures.
 
 

Saluda Today Photo Gallery

Click on any photo below to see a full gallery of Saluda Township photographs. To end the slideshow, click on the photo you are viewing.


 

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