“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Simpsonville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

The Old Arbor

The Old Arbor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 25, 2010
1. The Old Arbor Marker
The old arbor was the first building used by the people of Bethel. It is believed to have been built in the early 1800s. The land on which the arbor and church were built was given by John Bramlett, Solomon Holland and Benjamin Holland. Reunions of the Confederate soldiers that fought in the Civil War were held at the arbor. They were held every July 21, the day the Confederates repelled Union forces at the battle of Manassas. It is thought that the last soldiers' reunion was held around 1934.
Erected by Bethel United Methodist Church.
Location. 34° 46.65′ N, 82° 16.333′ W. Marker is in Simpsonville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is at the intersection of Holland Road and Balcome Boulevard, on the right when traveling south on Holland Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Holland Road, Taylors SC 29687, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Old Oak Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel Church Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel Community Training Ground
The Old Arbor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 25, 2010
2. The Old Arbor Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Gilder (approx. 1.4 miles away); Oakland Plantation (approx. 1˝ miles away); Mauldin (approx. 1.9 miles away); Mauldin United Methodist Church (approx. 2 miles away); The History of the Gosnell Cabin (approx. 2 miles away); Holy Cross Episcopal Church Labyrinth (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Simpsonville.
Also see . . .
1. Bethel United Methodist Church. Official website of Bethel United Methodist Church. (Submitted on May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. First Battle of Bull Run. The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as the First Battle of Manassas (the name used by Confederate forces and still often used in the Southern United States), was fought on July 21, 1861, near Manassas, Virginia. (Submitted on May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Additional comments.
1. John Bramlett's Obituary
The Southern Christian Advocate
Fall, 1855

Died, at his residence,
Old Arbor Location image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 25, 2010
3. Old Arbor Location
"on the hill", near the Bethel Campground, Greenville Dist., S.C., July 27th, John Bramlett, aged 91 years. The venerable patriarch has gone to his reward. The old christian who for more than 73 years "had the witness that he pleased God" - who was always ready to join the worshippers in the house of prayer, the very picture of an aged saint, now mingles with the angels and adores the Redeemer in Heaven.

Father Bramlett was born in Fauquier Co., VA., May 13, 1764. In his 18th year he joined the Methodist Church, and one year afterwards, while conducting family devotion at the house of his widowed mother, he was powerfully converted. From the hour of regeneration until the angels escorted him to Heaven, during a very long life of temptation and trial, he maintained his confidence in Christ and to use his own words, "never lost the witness."

All who knew John Bramlett believed in him. A more heavenly minded man, the writer never knew. Shortly after his conversion, he married and removed to S.C. where he passed 70 years of his life, universally respected. A generous, whole-souled and devoted follower of the Savior, he never disgraced the church by the exhibition of an unworthy spirit. Full of faith, he gave glory to God - full of love, he cared for his neighbor. God was his father, heaven his home - he knew that, and was happy.

What Methodist minister ever visited Greenville circuit, and did not admire and love Father Bramlett? Always at his place in church, until infirmities made it impossible, how hearty and sincere was his worship! O! it was refreshing to see the dear old man in his church. He entered into the services with his whole heart - tears of love and joy flowing from his dimmed eyes, and expressions of gratitude and rapture falling from his lips.

To see that white-haired disciple, blind and trembling with the weight of 90 years, so hopeful and so happy, was a privilege and a benefit. He was the founder of the church at Bethel - the class for many years meeting at his house for worship. Bishop Asbury and the preachers of the olden times, who passed through this part of the state, preached and rested under his roof.

Father Bramlett brought up a family of 13 children, all of whom lived to become parents (except one - Susan never married) and all joined the church of their father and mother. One year before Father Bramlett's death, his aged consort was taken from his side. She too was 91 at the time of her death, having been for 70 years his faithful and pious companion. Permit me to tell you of the old patriarch's "bower of prayer" before concluding this imperfect sketch. He had a place, a sheltered and retired spot, where he used to pray. When he was blind and extremely feeble, it was most affecting to see him groping his way to his loved retreat. There he prayed and sang and rejoiced, communing with his God every day.

He waited for death as for the coming of his best friend, and he passed away at the very time he would have chosen to go, when the Campground, a few hundred yards from his home, was filled with his neighbors and acquaintances praising God.

Dr. W.L.M. Austin
    — Submitted May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

Categories. Churches & ReligionNotable Places
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,040 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 19, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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