Location Information
(for the John Ford House)
Name:John Ford House
Address:near Sandy Hook
City/County:Columbia vic., Marion County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:c.1812-1813
No. of Stories:2.5
Registration Information
NR Listing Date:21 Jun 1971
View National Register Nomination Form
Mississippi Landmark Information
Designated:11-01-1995
Recorded:12-18-1995
Book/Vol. No.:V. 1185, p. 234
Context/Comments
Scene of the Pearl River Convention of 1816. Stabilized using a $12,500 HPF grant awarded in 1976. Designated a Mississippi Landmark on 1 November 1995 at the request of the Marion County Historical Society, owners of the property. [HABS: MS-11 (1936)]

The following was compiled by Mimi Miller, Historic Natchez Foundation, c.1986:

"The John Ford House is a very significant building with important territorial period associations. According to Goodspeed's, Joh Ford and his three brothers came to Marion County in 1809 and were among the county's earliest settlers (Vol I, pp. 751-52). Claiborne described John Ford as a 'South Carolinain, who early settled in Pearl River--a farmer and a man of fine sense and unimpeachable integrity--of patriarchical influence--who has left numerous descendants who inherit his characteristics' (p. 355). Stylistic and documentary evidence indicates that the John Ford House was built about 1810.

"In 1816, the Pear River Convention, which met to discuss the division of the Mississippi Territory, was held at John Ford's house on the Pearl River ('Journal of a Convention of the Delegates of several Counties of the Mississippi Territory, begun and held at John Ford's on Pearl River, on Tuesday the 29th day of Oct, 1816,' TERRITORIAL PAPERS, VI, o, 708-717.) John Ford was a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention and signed the Constitution of 1817 (Claiborne, pp. 352-555). Family tradition has maintained that one room of the house functioned as a post office during the territorial period, and this claim is substantiated in the TERRITORIAL PAPERS, where John Ford is recorded as postmaster in 1815. Ford died in 1826, but his descendants retained ownership of the house until it was sold to the Marion County Historical Society in 1962.

"The John Ford House is a one-and-a-half-story frame building constructed on a raised brick basement. The bricks are laid with mud rather than lime mortar. The use of mud in this c.1810 building confirms the difficulty of obtaining lime for mortar. The house exhibits the massive outside-end brick chimneys and the broken slope gable roof that are common features in territorial period architecture. Wooden sills are hand-hews and peeled poles, approximately six inches in diameter, are notched at the ends and flattened on top to provide joists for wooden flooring. The front gallery is supported by colonetters on pedestal posts, a little heavier than the restored ones at the House on Ellicott's Hill in Natchez. Interior details are primiate with board walls and board-and-battern doors.

"The house's outstanding integrity makes it an extremely important document for studying the life of early settlers during the territorial period. With the majority of the state's territorial period resources located near Natchez, the John Ford House's location in Marion County increases its importance, because it provices a rare interpretation of the life of an early settler living far from the sophisticated society of Natchez. That the house was used for territorial period meeting and was an overnight stop for Andrew Jackson indicates that, plain though it may seem in comparison to Auburn, its near contemporary in Natchez, it was apparently much grander than the other houses in that area of the state."