Bay United Methodist Church to receive Ohio Historical Marker

The Story of Elizabeth Tryon Sadler and the Bay United Methodist Church

The Bay United Methodist Church is receiving an Ohio Historical Marker to commemorate the site and give credence to the importance of this church in our town. The new marker will be arriving in June, our 191st anniversary. Many of Bay Village’s first settlers were members of this church. The names of Sadler, Cahoon, Osborn, Foote, Aldrich, Drake, Tuttle, Eddy, Dodd and Mathews, to name a few, are written in the history kept at the church. Their work ethic, will to succeed, thrust for knowledge and strong faith are the backbone of what Bay Village is today. 

Elizabeth Tryon Sadler, (1792/3-1872) grew up in Pennsylvania. Her parents were strict and devoted Methodists who didn‘t play cards, dance or drink. She was named Elizabeth, the connotation being consecrated to God, and she was true to her name. With prior training and Christian example she was early led to give her heart to God, and united with the Methodist Church when about 10 years old.

Elizabeth married William Sadler in 1813 and moved to Clarence Station, New York. In 1815, she traveled with William and the children to Lots 92/98 on the lake shore in Dover Township 7, Ohio, Range 15, in Connecticut’s Western Reserve to begin a new life. 

Upon arrival, here, she found she was the only Methodist in the town.  To be a Methodist, in 1815, did not mean what it does to be a Methodist today, and Mrs. Sadler soon found that her religious belief made her unpopular.  She was a firm believer in the Methodist doctrine and longed for a church home with Christian fellowship, but found neither. Elizabeth made a small church alter in her backyard. She prayed and meditated there every day.

Elizabeth’s neighbors in Dover Township tried to persuade her to join their denominations. She was told the Methodist Episcopal religion practiced paganism. A resident minister of another denomination called upon Mrs. Sadler inviting her to membership in his church. She declined saying she very much preferred her own church and hoped soon to have a Methodist Church here with which she could unite. The minister looked at her in amazement, saying, “Mrs. Sadler, that can never be. The Methodist Church will be very short lived; it has no foundation but witchcraft and can never stand.” 

Elizabeth would not change the teachings she had grown up with in her family. To find a Methodist Church, Elizabeth had to travel to the southern part of the township, a trip she found very difficult in the early 1800s. She sought a church on the lake close to her.

In June 1827 Elizabeth, looking to worship with others of her denomination, founded along with four other faithful inhabitants the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church in North Dover Township (today Bay Village). Reverend Eliphalet Johnson, (Sarah Johnson Osborn’s brother-in-law), Eliphalet’s wife, Margaret, their daughter, Rebecca, and Catherine Porter Foote were charter members. They met in the Sadler log cabin.

In 1841, Elizabeth Sadler gave the land in Lot 98 on the southwest corner of Bassett and Lake Roads to the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church to be used for the building of a new church on the grounds. This church was the only church in North Dover for 90 years.

Elizabeth was an exemplary Christian woman. Elizabeth died in 1872. In the family, she was known as a staunch Methodist. The historical marker will be a tribute to her.

Read More on Snippets of Bay Village History
Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:45 AM, 04.17.2018