These municipalities make up the heart of the 234 miles of rural Polk County. Residents of the area enjoy wildflowers in the spring, cool rivers in the summer, brilliant colors in the fall and warming fires in the winter. The area is known for its mild climate due to the "Thermal Belt." Warm air settles and moderates the year-round temperatures, cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This phenomenon allows for outdoor activities and events to be enjoyed throughout the seasons.
This part of the country - located along the upcountry of the North and South Carolina border - includes a number of communities in both Polk and Spartanburg counties. Major cities in the area include Hendersonville and Asheville, NC and Greenville and Spartanburg, SC. The communities of Tyron and Landrum straddle the states’ borders and are part of an area known as the Carolina Crescent. The Crescent has the advantage of being located approximately halfway between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC on the I-85 business belt.
The Crescent offers a unique combination of incredible natural resources, restaurants, entertainment, cultural events, museums, festivals, an abundance of shopping, excellent medical facilities, good schools, easy access to transportation and job opportunities in a picturesque setting.
There are numerous privately owned, state and national parks in the area including world famous Chimney Rock Park. Dozens of pristine lakes and rivers provide an assortment of recreational opportunities. And for golfers, the area is home to some of the best courses in the world.
Tryon has a reputation as a premier retirement area. Money Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and other publications have listed it as one of the top retirement communities in the nation. Equestrian pursuits have more than a 50-year history in Tryon including steeplechase, dressage, hunter jumper, and carriage driving events. The Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, FENCE (Foothills Equestrian Nature Center) as well as many other equestrian organizations host events from March through early December. The Block House Steeplechase Races, held in April, have been an annual event for 54 years.
The 19th Century surveyors who laid out Tryon stuck a compass in the map and drew the town boundaries as a circle a mile and half in diameter. At the center of that circle stands Morris, The Tryon Horse, a fixture in the community since 1928. The Tryon Horse stands some 22-hands high and is now in its fifth generation, having been destroyed on various occasions over the years from fire, a kidnapping and joyride and old age.
The history of Columbus dates back to the 19th century. Many of the current residents are descendents of early settlers who found the area at the base of White Oak Mountain to their liking. Many had taken part in the Revolutionary War. The city was named after Dr. Columbus Mills, a state senator who is known as the “Father of Polk County.”
Saluda’s historic downtown Main Street was recently awarded a position on the National Historic Register. The downtown business district has 16 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, which is to say the whole town. Saluda is also known for its artists, fine crafts, and restaurants. Saluda started as a crossroads known as Pace's Gap in the early 1800s. A family named Pace built an inn at the intersection of two busy trading paths -- the Winding Stair Road which led to Greenville, S.C. and Georgia; and the Howard Gap Road leading down to Spartanburg, S.C.
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