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Important Preservation News
Mamie Sadler Store
Dear Friends of Historic New Bern,
For nearly six years we have worked to save the MAMIE SADLER STORE, an important part of New Bern’s history and economic growth. We are sad to report that the building has been demolished!
We are very grateful to Chairman John Phaup and his Riverside Save Our Store Committee for its fundraising efforts to stabilize the building. However, the fundraising simply could not keep pace with the rapid structural decline of the building. As the building declined the cost of stabilization was escalating.
The New Bern Preservation Foundation Board, realizing that the building had passed the tipping point of being stabilized, voted this summer to have it demolished because of safety issues. It was a heartbreaking decision for many of us, yet, we realized the threat to public safety. Winds from Hurricane Matthew weakened the building further. Therefore, we requested that the City accelerate the planned demolition to remove the increased risk to the Riverside neighborhood. The building was taken down on Friday, October 14th.
Even though the store is gone, during the past several years we have learned more about this remarkable woman, Mamie Sadler, from those who shared memories of Miss Mamie, the vitality of her store, old photographs and who so hoped that her store could be saved.
Fortunately, several homes built by Miss Mamie and her family in the early 1900s remain in Riverside and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Thus, the legacy of Miss Mamie and the Sadler family lives on.
Nancy Hollows, Acting President
NEW BERN PRESERVATION FOUNDATION, INC.
Click photos to enlarge
About Mamie Sadler and Her Store
Mamie Sadler was born, Mary Cleveland Sadler, on November 11, 1884 in the Hobucken community of Pamlico County. Those were hard times. By 1908 the family had moved to New Bern and Miss Mamie’s father had established a grocery store in the 1000 block of N. Craven Street. "Miss Mamie" with the experience of working in her father’s business was able to raise the money and build her large 2-story building in 1917 with her store on the first floor and the family’s living quarters on the second.
Miss Mamie was known to be a very good business woman and was one of the first women in business in New Bern. She and her family played an important role in the growth of Riverside. They were responsible for building many properties in Riverside between 1900 and 1930. Most were rental houses for workers employed by the nearby industries, affordable housing for families. All the Sadler buildings in Riverside are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Miss Mamie purchased goods by the train-car load to help keep her prices as low as possible. She also set up credit accounts for her customers, helped them with home deliveries, and stayed open late on Saturdays. The store was known for its fresh produce, meats, and fish. It was also known as a general store.
It is said that Miss Mamie was the first woman in New Bern to have a driver’s license and own her own car. While her family worshipped at nearby Riverside Methodist Church she drove downtown on Sunday to worship at First Baptist Church. She was a caring person and during the depression she often gave away large boxes of groceries to families in need. Mamie was an important part of New Bern’s history.