A couple of weeks ago the excellent Facebook group Mid-Century Modern Arkansas had a great post about an International Harvester Dealership in North Little Rock, Arkansas that had been listed on the National Register back in 2009. The International Style design of the dealership was based on a stock plan, perfected by International Harvester. Apparently, the buildings were designed to provide both sales and service of International Harvester equipment. The buildings seem to vary in some features, but all include a vertical pylon sign near the center of the building. Recently I was in visiting Meridian and passed by a building of similar design on Highway 19. This made me think, surely there were International Harvester Dealerships throughout Mississippi.
A friend confirmed that at one time the building housed a farm supply business, but couldn’t recall the brand. Turning to the internet to learn if the building had indeed been an IH Dealership led me to the site ihdealerspast.net/ a great collection of information on, you guessed it, International Harvester Dealerships of the past. Two prominent lists are Dealer Listings and vintage photos of Prototype/Pylon Buildings. Unfortunately, there are no vintage photos of IH Dealers in Mississippi. There are, however, a few Mississippi entries on the map of existing Prototype / Pylon buildings. Belzoni, Hattiesburg, Ripley, Rolling Fork, and Yazoo City are all identified as sites of existing Prototype / Pylon buildings. The Dealer Listings entries are quite extensive and contain 13 sheets of information on IH Dealers in Mississippi.
The difference between the entries on the map and on the dealer list is staggering. I’m sure there are some readers that could identify several others of these IH buildings in their neck of Mississippi. Is there one near you? The North Little Rock International Harvester National Register nomination dates the creation of this design to the late 1940s. I wonder beginning when, and for how long were these designs were being built in Mississippi?