By Bob Edwards – Lewisville, N. C. August 2016
I was born and raised in Rutherfordton. My Father, Tom J. Edwards was an Attorney in Rutherfordton and did a lot of legal work for the town of Lake Lure. He worked with Lee Powers who was a resident of Lake Lure and owned a significant amount of real estate on and around the lake. This was in the late 1940’s and 50’s. Mr. Powers referred Dad to an individual that had a 33 foot cabin cruiser for sale located on the “Cheek Farm” which today is Rumbling Bald Resort. Dad purchased the boat and hauled it to our home in Rutherfordton for some repairs.
My brother Tommy and I, who were young boys at that time, helped our Dad by adding caulk to some of the boards. This was an old wooden boat that used to sail the inland waterway. Sadie Belle had a rather large brass prop and an old two cycle engine that sounded like The African Queen – putt – putt- putt. He left the mast and sail at home and hauled the boat back to the lake. He docked the boat at Snug Harbor. The wake from fast boats caused Sadie Belle to break her ropes, bang against the pilings, and spring leaks. On each visit back to her site, the boat would be half sunk. We would pump her out, work many more hours trying to caulk and repair the old wood. How do you think that worked out? Over a long period of time, the saga continued. My very determined Dad had the boat hauled back to our home for another round, we worked hard, returned it to the lake. You guess the rest!
Dad begin to realize this was a hopeless case especially after he fell while working on the “Big Monster” and broke a rib. Then the inevitable fate of Sadie Belle occurred. She broke all the secure lines, drifted a little ways out in the Harbor, then went to her final resting place. This occurred over 60 years ago and we have no idea if someone salvaged her or if some of the boat remains. The Harbor is pretty deep, but someone may have found her when the lake was lowered.
I have a few souvenir parts from Sadie Belle on display at my current home. Tommy, Dad and I spent more hours than you could imagine on this white elephant which we can only result in crazy stories. “Good bye Sadie Belle. May you rest in peace in beautiful Lake Lure.”
Bob Edwards lives in Lewisville, NC, and visits Lake Lure often.