Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dark Corner: 50 Years Ago in Saluda, NC

Via comment by Horace on Merry Christmas from Corruption NC 

 The infamous Dark Corners area is a little south and west of this map. But maybe the corner has grown. I've been reading up on it.

by Herbert E. Pace

Dark Corner 50 Years Ago

I was raised in South Carolina, Greenville County, Glassey Mountain Township School District No. 141, in the edge of what people called the “Dark Corner” of South Carolina. Nobody would claim they lived in the Dark Corner. We always claimed the Dark Corner was further on over the mountain.

One time during World War One when the Army Rifle Range was near Glassey Mountain, there were two officers riding horse-back coming from Spartanburg to the army camp which was supposed to be in the Dark Corner. They met a man and asked him how far it was to the Dark Corner. The man said about 10 miles. They rode on several miles - met another man, asked him how far it was to the Dark Corner. This man said about 10 miles. They rode on about 5 miles, met the third man - asked him how far it was to the Dark Corner. This man said about 10 miles. One of the officers looked at the other and said, “Thank God we are holding our own”.

The revenue officers used to come to our house and leave their horses and say they were going over in the Dark Corner to cut a still. They would be gone all day. I remember one of the officer's name was Guss Aikens of Asheville, NC. All the stills then were copper. The officers would cut holes in the still with a little pick they called a devil. The people did not like the revenue officers. One time the officer and the men at a still got in a shooting scrape and one of the officers got killed. The other officer went to a man's house and asked him if he would take his wagon and take the dead man to Greenville. The man asked the officer how many were killed. They told him just one. He said, “No, I won't go for just one” - if there were a load he would go.

Most all the people then made whiskey, they were good citizens. They thought it was nobody's business i f they made whiskey. They went to church and were good neighbors. I remember my father always kept a little whiskey for medicine. In the spring of the year he would send word for someone to bring him a little whiskey. They would come and bring it. My father would swap some potatoes or corn for the whiskey. The man sometimes would stay for dinner.

This area produced some early NASCAR drivers, bootleg liquor for my uncles to sell in the Asheville area in the thirties and forties, and a lot of real Americans.

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