The Bethea-Strother house, also known as “Pleasant Ridge”, is the only brick antebellum residence remaining in Wilcox County, and one of the few extant plantation houses left in the Canton Bend area. Its detailing is typical of Wilcox County architecture of the 1840s – a mixture of both Federal and Greek Revival influences applied to an essentially folk form, in this case a brick I-house with a frame ell. Tristin Bethea, a native South Carolinian, built this home around 1844. He had moved to Wilcox County in the 1820’s and established a law practice first at Canton Bend and later at Barboursville (renamed Camden in 1841). He married Eugenia V. Bethea, in 1832.
When he moved to Mobile in 1850 the home was acquired by George O. Miller on October 7, 1850. He paid $2,800 for 157 acres of land, the home, and other improvements. In later years the property came into possession of Joseph Eugene Strother, a nephew of Eugenia Bethea. Ownership remained in the Strother family until the home and some acreage was sold to Cliff Redenour and Ron Smith in 1987. They performed much of the home restoration that is visible today. In June of 1995, Mr. and Mrs. Al Blanton purchased the property and continued the restoration process and added period dependencies on the property.
This home was photographed and recorded in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1937. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1985. The Bethea-Strother home is located on Alabama 28 near the intersection of Alabama 28 and Co. Road 19 in the community of Canton Bend in Wilcox County (GPS coordinates 32.053927, -87.349753).
This is a private residence – drive by only.
Sources: 1) NRHP “Tristram Bethea House” Nomination Form; 2) WilcoxAreaChamber.org.
B&W photographs courtesy of the US Library of Congress (HABS), photographer: Alex Bush, date: March 27, 1937.