“A prosperous farmer witnesses Chester County’s history and growth from his hilltop plantation.”
1515 Stringfellow Road
City Directories and History: In 1852, Robert H. Stringfellow hired the construction of the home that his descendants still own in 2012. The big house was built on a hill overlooking his fertile cotton farm as well as the newly constructed Charlotte and South Carolina railroad line that ran along the edge of his eastern property. At the middle of the 19th century the Stringfellow plantation consisted of 1,132 acres or more. The 1850 census shows Mr. Stringfellow, a very prosperous planter worth some, $6,000. was 38 years of age.
With the coming of the railroad, Mr. Stringfellow had access to construction materials such as finished doors, mantels, windows, and more from
the Columbia markets and beyond. Routinely the house was built by a local contractor using architectural plans derived from pattern books and farm publications that offered suggestions of style and costs. Though local artisans were available to built fine homes and others to produce finished architectural parts, more and more planters began selecting items from firms such as Charles Beck or Eli Killian’s firms that each offered sash, door, flooring, tiles and even brick for delivery. This doesn’t mean however that Mr. Stringfellow didn’t get them from a local firm in Chester, just that his options had been widened with the new availability of the railroad stop within a mile of his home at Lewis Turnout.
Within a short distance of this home, Peter Wylie’s Home also once stood on the Saluda Road. Due to neglect, the house disappeared in the late 1980s. It was originally a large two story home thought to have been erected in the late 19th century. Several generations of the Wylie family resided here and it is widely believed that both Dr. A.P. Wylie and perhaps even his son, Dr. W. Gill Wylie resided here. Dr. Gill Wylie was a prominent South Carolinian, physician and surgeon, who moved to New York City and founded the Bellevue School of Nursing. He was also instrumental in starting hydro-electric development of the region along the Catawba River. In circa 1905, one of his wealthy patients, Mr. James B. Duke, purchased interest in what would was Lake Wylie outside of Rock Hill. Twenty years later the company changed its name to Duke Power.
Witness to History: It has been reported, that from the naval storehouse in Charlotte, N.C., Mrs. Jefferson Davis’s escort procured large quantities of coffee, sugar, bacon, and flour, we started in the cars with the treasure and arrived at Chester, S. C. This was, I think, about the 12th of April. We here packed the money and papers in wagons and formed a train. (If this statement is accurate, it would have been here that the party would have left the train from Charlotte and begun their wagon trip across S.C. This is plausible in that the train trestle over the Catawba River at Nations Ford crossing was still intact at that time, not destroyed by Stoneman’s Confederate troops until later in the month.) The statements goes on to say…. “We started the same day for Newberry, S. C. Mrs. Davis and family were provided by General Preston with an ambulance. Several ladies in our party–wives of officers–were in army wagons; the rest of the command were on foot…..” Wm. H. Parker, Author – https://southernsentinel.wordpress.com/the-lost-confederate-treasure/
***If this is accurate data, which R&R can not verify at this time, Mrs. Davis’s troop train would have passed in front of the Stringfellow’s plantation before arriving in Chester.
Informative link: W. Gill Wylie
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OVERLOOKING THE PHILADELPHIA WAGON ROAD
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