Robert Henry Sorrells and Harriet Edwards Sorrells

Robert Henry Sorrells and Harriet Edwards Sorrells

Most people don’t know about the history of the Sorrells Street Park area of Canton.

Meet Robert Henry Sorrells and his wife Harriet Edwards Sorrells. Robert was the son of Corporal Henry Jackson Sorrells, who died while fighting with the 25th NC Regiment CSA.

Henry is buried with his comrades in a mass grave in Petersburg, Virginia. Henry’s wife, Adra Cathey Sorrells, is buried at the Bethel Cemetery.

Robert and Harriet owned a large house located on what is now the corner of Park Street and Sorrells Street. His sister, Alice Sorrells Rhinehart, lived in a smaller house behind the big house on what was then Water Street.

Henry was part owner of the Canton Laundry Ice and Fuel Company. He sold his part of the business to the Sprinkle family, who still operate the laundry.

Robert Sorrells and part of his family are buried across the street from the new library in Canton. The old Sorrells house was eventually a boarding house, some even called it the Pigeon Hotel. Robert would cut ice from the Pigeon River after a hard freeze and sell it for his ice business.

Three of his daughters went to school at what is now Young Harris College, back when women rarely had much of an education. The school was started and run by one of Harriet Sorrells cousins from the Edwards family.

Now you know a little bit about the Sorrells family and Sorrells Park history.

Editor’s note: James J. Robertson is the great-grandson of Henry Jackson Sorrells, and a former Canton resident, who now resides in Maryland. Roberston has been doing family research for years.

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