John Field House

Cheap-ish Circa 1812 Kentucky Historic Federal Home For Sale – The Field House Reduced to Under $100K

This stately, federal-style home sits proudly on a large lot of just over half an acre in downtown Columbia, Kentucky. Enjoy a glass of bourbon by the fire and toast yourself for being the one who saves and restores this property.Built in 1812, the Field House exudes a sense of history – our connection to Mark Twain – and elegance that captures the imagination of those who appreciate tradition and historical preservation.With over 4, 000 square feet of living space on two floors plus more in the partially finished attic, this home offers plenty of room to grow. The spacious parlor is perfect for entertaining guests or cozying up with a good book by the original wood burning fireplace. The dining room boasts a beautiful chandelier that sparkles in the light of the setting sun streamin\r2sssww through antique glass windows, setting the tone for memorable gatherings. The full mason construction, three brick deep walls need work inside and out. Beautiful wood plank floors are original to the house. It currently offers one full bathroom and one half bathroom, updating the plumbing and electrical systems will bring it up to modern standards. Despite its need for modernization, there is something truly special about this home. Its classic architecture and spacious interior make it a perfect canvas for creating the home of your dreams. It’s proximity to the bourbon trail and historic downtown Columbia make it a great candidate for an airbnb. This home is located just two blocks from the town square of Columbia, where you can enjoy little shops, local food, coffee, and special events. Call today for your private showing. This home will not qualify for FHA, VA or most traditional mortgages.

  • 3bed
  • 1.5bath
  • Circa 1812


If interested in a property, please contact the realtor whose link is provided in the post below, or contact an agent of your own choosing. Independent verification of details and status is recommended.

111 E Fortune St, Columbia, KY 42728  $119,900 Reduced to $99,900



Family History

The John Field House, designed by James and Benjamin McDowell, was  built about 1812, and is one of only a few buildings from that era left standing in the Adair County.

John Field (1777-1857) was a pioneer of Adair County, arriving there in his teens along with his step-father, William Hurt, Sr. in 1793.  John served as the first county jailer in Adair, the first Columbia postmaster, and was a member of the town council. He also was a businessman who invested wisely, until he didn’t.  He owned a number of farms, but ran it as a slave owner of 12 men, women and children. 

This stately brick house was built for John’s wife, Martisha Stapp Field (1777-1845), just before the outbreak of the War of 1812. They lived here with their children, Samuel, William, Robert and John. Local attorney John Marshall Clemens rented a rooms in the home when the Fields suffered some economic setbacks after the financial panic of 1819. Clemens lived in one of the rooms and saw clients in an adjoining room. He later married Jane Lampton, and the couple continued to lived in the rented rooms for at least a year.

The Clemenses subsequently moved from Kentucky and became parents, one of the children named Samuel Langhorne, aka Mark Twain.

Sadly, John Field lost this home and most of his holdings in the early 1820s. He and Martisha retired to a small farm at Glensfork where he became blind and died in the 1850s.

The John Field House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.



  • Barry L Bonifay

    It’s laughable to claim some connection to Twain when really what you mean is that his dad briefly rented rooms here 15 full YEARS before Twain was even born.

  • Ashanti Laszlo

    HOW is this only 3 bedrooms, and how many sets of stairs are there? Looks like two separate sets of “stairs of death” (servant stairs).


    The house is so gorgeous that a buyer would have no ‘first stops’ to fix cosmetics. You’d go straight to practicalities. Granted, that’s probably a lot. And you’d probably just have to accept that it will be hot in summer and cold in winter (no insulation). These are sunny photos, which makes me think wouldn’t it be great to put solar panels on that roof?

  • Daniel

    You already know some bleach blonde Becky is going to rip out everything historic, paint it grey, and try to sell it for double the price.

  • Sondra Prine SSondra Prine [email protected]

    The owners can’t keep up with the repairs needed but instead, grab a paintbrush and paint all the natural wood and then, want to sell the place for it’s ‘historical’ value.

  • Richard Bucci

    Barry, NOT laughable. This once imposing house is where Mark Twain’s parents, John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens, spent their honeymoon. The story of his parents’ time in Kentucky is a fascinating part of the story of America’s greatest writer. See Albert Bigelow Paine’s biography of Mark Twain but also Rachel Varble’s unusual book, Jane Clemens, The Story of Mark Twain’s Mother. Like all Mark Twain scholars, I hope that this building survives for more centuries.

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