Jacob Bedenbaugh House

1185 South Carolina Highway 773, Prosperity, SC

Photos 

Jacob Bedenbaugh House, Right Oblique

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov

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Description 

The Jacob Bedenbaugh House, built circa 1860, is significant in social history due to the original owners, Jacob and Sarah Bedenbaugh, being an interracial couple who weathered the prejudices of a society that was bent on keeping whites and blacks as separate as possible. This couple lived in defiance of the prevailing social mores during the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow eras, as interracial relationships were considered “unnatural” during this period. While the couple may have been able to marry during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, finding someone who was willing to conduct the ceremony would have been difficult. Following the adoption of 1895 South Carolina state constitution, the couple was forever barred from marrying. While participating in an interracial relationship was not specifically against the law, the couple was indicted and tried for fornication in July 1890. The prosecution of the couple reflects the extent to which South Carolina courts went to keep interracial couples from being together in a time when the black population was being continually disenfranchised. The home has been continuously owned by the same family since its original construction. Jacob Bedenbaugh purchased the property in 1858 and the two-story I-house was constructed shortly thereafter. Sometime between 1860 and 1864, Jacob Bedenbaugh entered into a relationship with a mulatto woman named Sarah. The couple never married, although Sarah took the Bedenbaugh name. They remained together for approximately 42 years and produced eight children. Jacob died in 1915 and Sarah died in 1936. Additionally, most of the home’s major alterations were completed by 1936. Listed in the National Register October 6, 2011. - SCDAH

Update Log 

  • October 11, 2018: New photo from Michael Miller
  • September 29, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • April 4, 2014: Added by Michael Miller

Sources