We need new members, and we need you to keep your membership up to date.
How can you join or check your annual expiration date? Go to the Membership panel on the Society page.
A Look Back...
...but not too far back. We've assembled the work of six photographers during the 2005 demolition of the old Cliffside Mill. It's a six-minute movie on YouTube's Remember Cliffside channel.
In 1955 Duke Village ceased to exist. Several houses were purchased by their occupants, who moved them to their own land nearby. See the Observer story by our own Hannah Miller about the "moving" experience of Mrs. T. M. Bishop.
Updated with another story.
In the '60s, as the mill houses became vacant (and eyesores), some were intentionally burned by the Cliffside Fire Department. Sounds wasteful but these old dwellings were not worth the gas it took to burn them down.
Avondale Map & Aerial Photo
In 1975, Avondale historian Irene Roach Delpino, drawing on the memories of fellow residents, drew a very detailed map of her town as it was around the year 1950.
Also, there's an aerial photo of the Haynes Mill, and many of the homes in that village.
They're in The County section (under History), on the Places and Photos pages.
The Old Dry Cleaners
It was built in the 1910's as a silent movie theater. In 1926 it was converted to a dry cleaning plant that remained in operation for about 50 years.
The oldest graves in Cliffside Cemetery hold four descendents of one Robert Haney, a Revolutionary War veteran and, after 1783, resident of the High Shoals area. It is thought that Haney or his children once owned the land on which Cliffside was later founded.
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.
Landscapes & Bridges
Cliffside was in turmoil in the late 1960's when a large swath of its streets were carved away for a bypass, a new bridge was built and two were demolished. It changed forever the character of the Cliffside we had known. Here are 32 photos from the Roy Lee Harris collection.
“A Little Hill To Climb”
W. T. Tate was born near Cliffside before the town existed. As a small boy he went to the Simmons school on Ferry Road. He worked in the mills at Henrietta and Cliffside. He was destined to become a preacher, and he did, after graduating from Wake Forest in 1916. Then he wrote this compelling memoir, "A Little Hill To Climb," about the first three decades of his life. Another valuable find by Don Bailey.
“We want clerks that can say 'TATERS' when the customer says 'TATERS'...” demanded the manager of the Cliffside Mills Store about 1918.
This old document laid out the rules the staff was to follow when answering the phone, greeting customers, etc., all of which would be pertinent today. The customer was always right!
The latest: stories of a true pioneer of Cliffside, James Edward Atkinson (1857-1954), the author's grandfather.
Profile: Ben Humphries
He's a Cliffside icon, a home-grown historian and genealogist, a man with a sponge-like memory, who seems to remember every facet of his life and times. Janna Dea Harris has shaped a nice profile of Ben and captured a few of his many stories.
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.
If you played on or coached either of the teams over the years, and have photos, clippings or stories—or any info at all about the teams, coaches, Frank Holtzclaw or Winky Pearson, we'd appreciate your sharing them.
E-mail email@example.com or call 704.443.5214.
Jean Gordon of The Daily Courier tells of the artist's ties to Cliffside.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. T. C. Lovelace
In a recent Chimes, we had a short article on this man who was lower Rutherford's physician for decades. We reprint it here along with an exten-sive profile of Dr. Lovelace, and the obituary of a black lady who served as his housekeeper, assistant and confident for 65 years. The profile appeared in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in October 1981.
Profile: Reno Bailey
Adding insult to the outrageous travestry of the rumored presentation of a plaque for something or other, an anonymous cousin of Reno submitted this indepth profile.
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!
Who's the Man?
This is the rope tower of a certain mill in Rutherford County, and at the top was the visage of a man, probably the owner. Can you guess the mill? And the man?
The 1940 Federal Census
Work has been progressing nicely on the census project. Thanks to transcribers Betty Bailey, Paula Cargill, Janna Harris, JoAnn Huskey and Don Womick, all the transcription work is complete. Now we're massaging and formatting the data, and beginning to design the Web pages.
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.
Our clock face restoration is finished and you can follow the months-long effort with over 100 photos (in three galleries) and two Courier stories. You can also find a list of all 93 of the clock fund contributors who made it all possible.
Her “Growing Up” Years
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.
Earl Scruggs 1924-2012
Back in March, the world's most famous banjo player passed away. Earl Scruggs was raised in the Flint Hill community (just beyond Boiling Springs) and worked in a mill in Shelby until his music took him to Nashville. The Charlotte Observer printed a tribute article on the country music star that included extensive quotes by our own Ben Humphries.
Another Train Story
In the early '60s the Cliffside Railroad was the last in the state to use steam loco-motives. As such it was a magnet for newspapers looking for a story.
Here's one of the last stories before the old chuffers were gone.
“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.
The cover story of a recent issue of Rutherford Woman magazine was on Cliffside's Melrose Dover, a familiar face to those who frequent the Country Plaza. Great story and photos. Our thanks to the magazine for allowing us to republish them.
The Twin Reporters
We've added over 30 "new" columns from the Twin Reporters, all from 1937. Read what Grandma 'n 'em were doing back then.
Learn what happened to your old friends since they left Cliffside. Click on a photo.
“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
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.
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.
Latest addition: In 1919 came news of progress on the new mill in Avondale, Cliffside's support of the recent war, the company's benevolence during the great flu epidemic in the past few months.
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.
Find the house where you lived and the streets where you walked and played, on this map drawn in 1942.
Of all the boys in Cliffside who grew up to become movie producers and owners of their own studio, this one definitely stands out. From only a few of the many news stories about him published over the span of four decades, you'll get an inside glimpse at the background, personality and talents of the inimitable Earl Owensby.