Memories, Places, and People That Make Saluda NC an Enchanted Place to Be


Walter “Tarzan” Stephenson: Saluda’s Pro Baseball Player

Walter McQueen Stephenson was born in Saluda in 1911 and died in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1993. He was the son of Joseph Hoge Stephenson and Minnie May Guice Stephenson. Walter, nicknamed Tarzan, went on to fame by becoming a professional baseball player. His stats are below. Pretty good for a Saluda boy!

Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6’0”, Weight: 180 lbs.
Pros: Catcher
Born: March 27, 1911 in Saluda, NC
Debut: April 29, 1935
Final Game: September 30, 1937
Died: July 4, 1993 in Shreveport, LA

Major Leagues:
1935 – 1936 Chicago Cubs
1937 Philadelphia Phillies

Minor Leagues:
1932 Winston-Salem/High Point – Piedmont League
1934 Lafayette – Evangeline League
1936 Los Angeles – Pacific Coast League
1937 Montreal – International League
1938 Shreveport – Texas League
1939 Mt. Airy – Bi-State League
1939 Knoxville – Southern Association
1941 Shreveport, Oklahoma City – Texas League


Oral History Interview with Charlie Fears

Charlie Fears was a native of Virginia and came to Saluda in the early 1970s to work on Interstate 26.  When the job was finished and his company went on to the next job, Charlie decided to stay. He worked on several bridges in the area, including the railroad bridge in town.  After retirement he became a landscaper.

Charlie’s blue tractor and friendly face were familiar and welcome sights around Saluda. He was a regular at Ward’s Grill, which is where interviewer Scott Kinard caught up with him. We feel very fortunate to have this interview because we lost Charlie this past June.