What's in a Name?
There are several legends of how Money Hill got its name, but one stands above the others. Sitting on the highest elevation in St. Tammany Parish, Money Hill was the ideal place to hide caches of gold coins when it was feared the British would defeat General Jackson’s army at the Battle of New Orleans.
On their way to the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson and his troops marched south and camped at several places along the way on what we know today as Military Road. The first stop was just north of Bogalusa at the Ford home, one of the oldest in Washington Parish. It was built in 1805 by a Baptist preacher named Ford who migrated from South Carolina to preach the Gospel and till the fertile river-bottom land. He found so few who subscribed to religion that he soon convinced himself that he could best serve the Lord by farming his plantation, where he raised sugar cane, cotton and corn. The home was elevated as a security measure against raiding Choctaw Indians in the region at that time. There was a stockade below to protect the women and children while the men mounted a musket fire defense from the raised structure above.
A different fighting force visited the house in 1814. As General Jackson and his men made their way to confront the British in New Orleans, they crossed Bogue Lusa Creek only to be delayed by floodwaters. At first, they were unwelcome guests, permitted to stay only on the condition that Jackson abstain from profanity and “seek the help of the Lord in saving his soul.” The fearful settlers kept their guns loaded, but allowed them to stay for two weeks.
Another campsite on the journey down Military Road toward Madisonville was the high ground in St Tammany near what is now the north entrance of the Money Hill community. Not knowing what to expect against the mighty British Army, Jackson’s soldiers buried their money and personal belongings here as a precaution. This site would have been a two-day march from Ford’s north Bogalusa home, and Madisonville was probably two more days of marching from Money Hill. In Madisonville, they crossed Lake Pontchartrain by packet boat to meet the British. Fortunately, General Jackson and his soldiers were victorious in the Battle of New Orleans. They returned to the area, dug up their belongings and left behind only the named location of their hiding spot: “Money Hill.”