HISTORY

Rosedale was built in 1815 by Archibald Frew, a merchant, postmaster and tax collector.

Archibald and his sister Sarah arrived in the village of Charlotte in the late 1790s. Archibald began making trips up the Philadelphia or Great Wagon Road to Philadelphia to bring goods into the backcountry. Soon he brought property and opened a store in the village. Business was good and in 1802 Archibald began to amass land in the Sugar Creek community.


Video written and produced by Sandra Barley with videography by Daniel Coston.

Also in 1802 Archibald married Ann Cowan. Her father David Cowan was prominent in the Sugar Creek Community and had served as Keeper of Weights and Measures for the county. At the time of their marriage Archibald was thirty and Ann was twenty. Together they had seven (or perhaps eight) children.

Archibald's sister, Sarah, had married William Davidson in 1802. Previously, she was married to William's uncle, Thomas Davidson, who died in 1801. William Davidson became a very wealthy and powerful man. His relationship with his brother-in-law had a strong and lasting influence on the life of Archibald Frew. Archibald was named postmaster and his store served as the local post office. Records indicate that Archibald Frew had been appointed as a tax collector by 1814.

In 1815 Rosedale was under construction on the land at Sugar Creek. He seemed to spare no expense in the construction of a grand plantation house. Locally, Rosedale was called "Frew's Folly" probably because of its lavishness. His Scots-Irish Presbyterian neighbors in the community did not believe in flaunting their wealth.

Archibald Frew died at the age of forty-seven at Rosedale on April 15, 1823, a fitting date for the death of a tax collector. Archibald Frew’s estate was valued at $1200, a reasonable size estate for the time.