In 1797 the land which the house was built belonged to Mark Russell. The Russells owned large amounts of land here before the county was formed. Perhaps Mark was a brother of John who owned the land where Campbellton was laid out. John died in 1797, and the land where the Woman’s Club now stands was purchased from his estate. Mark Russell sold the property on Dick Street to Duncan McLeran, and it is believed he built both the Sandford house and the
McLeran sold the house to John R. Adam and his wife Sarah. It was in this house that James Baker and May Catherine Broadfoot were married in 1818. They went to the Nimocks house next door to make their until 1848. Just what happened to John Adam is not known, but Sarah Adam sold the property to John A. Cameron in 1820.
In 1820 John Cameron sold the house on Dick Street to the government for the United States Bank. The Bank had come to Fayetteville in 1818. After some year John W. Sandford, who was born in Philadelphia in 1800, came to Fayetteville to be cashier of the United States Bank. He lived on the second floor and maintained the bank on the first floor. In 1830 he married Margaret Halliday and in 1839 they bought the house.
According to local legend, Sherman’s troops used the house as barracks during the Union occupation of Fayetteville in March 1965. Whether that legend if true or not, a bullet from the occupation did fly into the home. It chipped the marble mantle in the north room. Unfortunately, a former president of the club had the chipped marble mantle repaired, innocently thinking it needed to be done. Fortunately, the repair does not match well, and we can still see where the bullet hit today. “The Civil War Trail” runs through the backyard of the Sandford House today.
Capt. J. E. P. Daingerfield was transferred to the Arsenal in 1861 when the munitions and equipment were transferred from Harpers Ferry. He did not occupy the house until after the war when he decided to make Fayetteville his home. He brought with him his wife Matilda and his children: Archibald, Mae, Richard, and Elliot. He purchased the house in 1873. Elliott Daingerfield a renowned North Carolina artist lived in the Sandford House throughout his teenage years. A room in the house has been dedicated as a memorial to Ellott. There is a painting, entitled “The Angel of Victory, a bust of Elliott and a lap desk used by the artist’s mother and then by the artist.
Around 1897 the property was sold to A. H. Slocomb. The Slocomb family sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Powell in 1920, and they lived there until 1945 when it was sold to the Woman’s Club.
World War II
Around 1941, the Woman’s Club rented the Sandford House from its owners. The Club opened the doors to the home and provided suitable living quarters for unmarried working women flooding into the city at the time. Thirty you, single women, a housemother and hostess packed the second floor dormitory style. (Thirty women and four bathrooms.) The Woman’s Club also provided space for any other women’s organization to meet in the house free of charge in an effort to accommodate the town’s growing need for social outlets. This period marked with parties to which many of Fort Bragg’s young soldiers would flock to meet the houseful of eligible single women and their friends.
Description of the Sandford House Property
The house is a weatherboard structure, resting on a high brick basement wall. It has a hip roof. There are double porches, four columns wide, and enclosed by a balustrade. The fluted columns of the upper porch have Ionic capitals and lower porch Doric. The doorway in the upper porch is original, set in a frame work with beautiful carvings. Sidelights with three small sunburst cravings, set in a fan-shape, corresponding with the fanlight over the door. The lower doorway was changed along with other inside changes for the wedding of Lillian Slocomb to Neil Emerson. In the very wide hallway another change was the addition of two Iconic columns and pilasters, forming an opening to the north living room. In this room is a mantel of white Italian marble which was removed from the Halliday-House. Opposite this room is the Daingerfield room.
The large basement held vaults for the bank. This was surrounded by a three foot wall of sandstone. There were also fireplaces. The vaults and fire places were removed by the Woman’s Club to make an assembly room which is used as a meeting place for the Woman’s Club.
In 1941, the Woman’s Club purchased the “Slocumb House” but later renamed it the “Sandford House”
Parts of this article were taken from an article in The Fayetteville Observer, May 18, 1962.