Bethel Rural Community Organization
Art Prints of Historic Sites for Sale
Winners of the art competition conducted by Bethel Rural Community Organization are on display permanently in the dining hall of Bethel Presbyterian Church. The purpose of the art contest was to document historic sites in the Bethel community, encourage an appreciation of the history of the area, provide decorative enhancement to the dining hall of Bethel Presbyterian Church, partner with talented artists in Haywood County, and make the art pieces available for purchase to the general public.
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A photograph, owned by Bill and Earlene Holbrook, is of the Burton and Lucinda Moore Cathey House that was located in Cathey Cove until it was dismantled a few years ago. The original portion of the home was built by Dred Blaylock in 1849.
A late 1800s painting by Nettie Vance Penland is of the Colonel Joseph and Nancy Hyatt Cathey House, dated to the mid-1800s. The back of the painting indicates that the Cathey House was one of the first framed houses in Haywood County. Owners are Berry and Rosanna Rigdon.
A painting, dated to the late 1800s, by Nettie Vance Penland of the Cathey Mill is owned by Berry and Roseanna Rigdon. The mill began operation in the 1840s. Colonel Cathey was a state legislator, farmer, post master, and mercantile operator in the mid-1800s.
La Nae and Jack McCracken own the original 1912 application for patent drawings for the computing scale, precursor of today’s modern market scales and gasoline tank measuring devices, by Calvin Filmore Christopher. The inventor lived in Bethel and is NC’s most prolific inventor. Christopher’s scale invention is the forerunner of scales used all over the world.
A 1965 painting by F. Seymore of Inman Chapel was captured from a photograph given to the artist by the Reverend Hannah J. Powell, pastor at the Universalist church from 1921 – 1941, during her tenure in Haywood County. Owner is Rosemary Trull.
The painting of Osborne Boundary Oak, Osborne Farm, and the original log cabin beside the tree is loaned to the HP Committee by Jackie Stephens, Curator of the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts in Shelton House. The piece, painted by G.C. Monroe, depicts the tree that was used as a boundary marker in 1792. BRCO and citizens in the community have worked to save the historic tree.
The J. B. Rigdon General Store and mill house, originally built by the Plott family in the early 1900s was a fixture in the heart of Bethel Community until the 1970s when it was dismantled. That painting was commissioned by Ozark folk artist, Granny Chicken, by Winifred R. McNeil and is currently owned by Richard and Evelyn Coltman.
Nick De Paolo artfully painted the exterior of the historic Bethel Presbyterian Church as it looked in its original white-clapboard appearance prior to 1964 when the church underwent a remodeling that included an added brick façade. De Paolo has been a freelance artist for more than 40 years, was an illustrator with the U.S. Navy, college professor, and currently owner of Long Grove Art School.
Award winning artist, Janice Swanger captured the essence of Lenoir’s Creek Devon, Haywood County’s longest continuing farm (1807) with the county’s longest continuing herd of cattle (mid-1800s when Red Devon cattle were brought to the farm by second owner, Thomas Isaac Lenoir). Her painting brilliantly captures all of the historic structures remaining on the farm as well as the large variety of animals.
Gary Woolard was chosen in his native Beaufort County to paint the 12 oldest churches in the 12 oldest counties in the state. His rendering of the sanctuary of the 1885 Bethel Presbyterian Church with its striking chestnut bead board is a delicate balance between geometric precision and poetic artistry.