1999 List

Fielder House

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City/County/Congressional District: Fordyce , Dallas County ( District 4 )
Location Class: Residential
Year Built: 1875
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places (1983)
Status: Restored

The Fielder House in Fordyce is the only remaining dwelling from the pre-railroad period or from before the founding of Fordyce, the county seat. Mr. Elon Hawkins Fielder built the house around 1875 and lived in it until 1888. Mr. Fielder moved that it is the only documented structure built in the decade of 1870. Reflecting traditional evolutionary patterns in Arkansas, the house, initially constructed as a long one-pen structure eventually became a dogtrot. The Pollard family constructed the structure into today’s central hall house in about 1910. After this date, the house became associated with the successful early 20th-century popular novelist, Harold Bell Wright. In the winter of 1915-1916, Wright visited his father who was then living in the house with his father’s sister, Mrs. Pollard. Local interviews revealed that Wright wrote all or part of his widely acclaimed novel Trail of the Lonesome Pine during this stay. The novel, later adapted for the screen, became the first outdoor Technicolor feature film. The entire site was at one time a farm. Trees are those that are planted by some of the original inhabitants. Two rose bushes and a pear tree, brought with the Fielders and planted when they built the log cabin, continue to bloom. Two oak trees which they planted are alive and well. The current owners of the building are direct descendants of the original settlers. They have restored the house and are currently living in it.