Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Block House 1814 / River Port - Fort - Ferry

Marker ID: HCC 
Location: on U.S. Highway 231, near mile marker 34 four miles east of Newton, Alabama.
County: Dale
Coordinates: N 31° 20.993    W 085° 33.263
  31.34988333    -85.55438333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMGZCM


The Block House 1814

The first public structure in what later became Dale County was erected one mile east of this marker at the confluence of the East and West Choctawhatchee Rivers. Called The Block House, it was built of logs by a contingent of Jackson's army in 1814. This post was not fortified; it provided shelter for militia and settlers driven into it by fear of the Indians. The site of a ferry across the River, it was occupied as a store and was designated a post office from 1833 to 1841; first postmaster was John Whitehurst.

River Port - Fort - Ferry

The Block House was the center of a settlement which included Thomas Obadiah Dick, ferry operator, and John Beverett, who purchased the site in 1836. In 1823 this area was surveyed by Robert D. Harris of the Sparta Land Office, headquarters of the Conecuh Land District. In 1824 Elisha Matthews taught school in the home of William Mills, for which he was paid $10.00 per month and board. In 1827 Seaborn Ledbetter, a local merchant, launched a "pole" boat named the "Choctawhatchee Hornet." Nearby John Huccaby operated the first grist mill.

Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dale County Historical Society, 1979.


Marker Dedication or Erection Date:  January 1, 1979

End of The Block House 1814 / River Port - Fort - Ferry