City Directories and History: The Bethesda community and the areas along Fishing Creek just south and west of Rock Hill, SC are rich in architectural and agricultural
history. One of
the earliest settlers in this area was that of the Richard Sadler family. The family held property at what is today Brattonsville but by the mid 19th century it was their property along the east side of Fishing Creek that was the heart of their farm. Not only did they construct a simple but very refined two story farmhouse but numerous support structures. And on the grounds of the property was the Sadler family cemetery. Unfortunately, this location was demolished by a subsequent owner. Some of the tombstones are now at Bethesda Presbyterian church.
The Sadler family has had a rich history of education and commitment to the communities of Bethesda and Rock Hill. Many of these men and women have historic roots to this home. Most likely constructed in the 1840’s, their simple house, by the 20th century was used as the country farmhouse for keeping livestock and growing cotton. Most all of the family had moved to Rock Hill and taken with them the handsome material culture accumulated at this home. Fine chests, trunks, tables and more once embellished this dwellings’ interior. One of the family trunks is of the same type found throughout the Bethesda area. Though the Sadler trunk or “hope chest” is less ornate than others, it remains one of several handsome walnut chests to have been documented by an unidentified cabinet maker in the Bethesda community. The photograph below shows the house in the early 20th century with flowers in the yard and happy children playing on the grounds.
The Herald reported on Aug. 29, 1900 – “Ms. Mary Sadler of Rock Hill is teaching at the Bethesda High School, of which Prof. Steele of N.C. is principal.”
It appears the front porch was added as a later addition to the otherwise austere exterior. This historic home was demolished in the 1980’s.
It appears that the Sadler family, that of Rufus Sadler’s… moved into Rock Hill and lived on Johnston Street next to the Strait family. “On the eastern side of the Evans house was a two-story house with a large porch across the front, both upstairs and downstairs. This was the Rufus Earle Sadler home.” [Robbins – White Tour Booklet]
*** The Sadler farm does not show on the Walker Map of 1910 but it would have been in the center section of the attached map next to Fishing Creek facing a dirt road that is only a dim recollection of those who have lived in the community for generations. The Rufus Sadler Farm was associated earlier with R. E. Sadler’s father.
Rosa B. Strait recorded that – ” living next door to us on Johnston Street were the Sadlers: Mr. Rufus Sadler and his children and Miss Carrie, the bookkeeper and caretaker. Mrs. Sadler, nee Lillie Crawford (Dr. T. A. Crawford’s sister), died when one of the children was born. My mother nursed the infant, Rufus, for a time alone with me. The children were Mary, Hope, Lillie Earle, Maggie Lee, Etta, Carrie and Rufus. They were all fun-loving and filled with a sort of native gaiety. I used to love to go over when they were eating dinner. I know it was bad manners for me to do that but there was so much laughter and fun at the long table and I adored the crisp, brown muffins cooked in fancy-shaped tins and would always accept when offered one.” Courtesy of the YCGHS—June 1998
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