William Edwards and his family came to Spartansburg from Forfar, Scotland in about 1873. William, his wife Elisabeth (Scott) and their sons, James and William settled in a house on a double lot on Davenport Street-which he purchased from Benjamin Davenport. Mr. Edwards had apprenticed as a stone mason in Scotland and he brought that trade with him to America. He is listed in the 1874 and successive Business Directories for the area. (Edwards was on the Board of Directors for the Spartansburg Woolen Mill owned by his sons)
Several stories have been shared about the stone house that the Edwards family built starting in 1879 and finishing in 1881. The most prevalent being that William built the home to ease his wife’s melancholy over leaving her family in Forfar. That version of the story continues that Mrs. Edwards only lived a short time after moving into the new house. Reports have followed through the years of Elisabeth’s spirit remaining in the house. She has been reported to be watching from an upstairs window as an auction was held in the front yard. Her presence sometimes seemed to be playful-moving ladders from someone in an attic access. When seen at night, she usually is reported to float with only her upper half appearing.
As the current owners and residents of the house, we have not had the privilege of encountering Elisabeth. And, while the story is wonderfully romantic, if sad, I am pleased to report that Elisabeth actually lived a full life. She and William remained in the house in Spartansburg until 1903 when they moved to Oil City with their sons. A few years later, William and Elisabeth returned to Forfar. Elisabeth died there in September of 1908 at the age of 75, and William in January of 1927 at the age of 89.
The house has belonged to only 5 families since 1881. It has changed little in outward appearance since it was built. The addition of rooms at the rear of the house in the 1920’s, the removal of the turret on the front porch in the 1940’s and its subsequent replacement in 1992, and an expansion of 2 rooms on the second floor in the late 1980’s have been the major changes. In 2010, the house received a Preservation Award from the Crawford County Historical Society.
Families who have owned the house are: William and Elizabeth Edwards (1879-1904) The Eastmans: John, Minnie and Joseph (1904-1938) The Salmons: George and Ivy, along with Jared Bacon and the Salmon children, Ray and Alice (1938-1971), Paul and Alberta Clark, including a land contract with Charles and Ruth Thomas (1971-1986) and Ron and Connie Sitterley (1986-present). The double lot originally purchased by the Edwards was divided and sold to others over the years. The current owners have purchased most of that land, making it a part of the stone house property once again.