Historical Commerical Buildings & Churches

Old Probate Judge’s Office at Livingston, AL (ca. 1830), photo courtesy Rural Southwest Alabama

Old Probate Judge’s Office at Livingston, AL (ca. 1830), photo courtesy Rural Southwest Alabama

Historical Commercial Sites

  • Bellamy Hotel (Bellamy) – Built ca. 1901. It was well known for its fine food and good service, but is now a Headstart Center.
  • Allison Lumber Company Administration Building (Bellamy) – Built in ca. 1901 by Evan F. Allison, the founder of Bellamy.  The town of Bellamy was established in 1899 as a sawmill town with the Allison Lumber Company.
  • Train Station-Depot (Bellamy) – Built in ca. 1904 for the Sumter and Choctaw Railroad, and was operated by Woodruff.
  • Goggans Department Store
  • Kring Coffin Shop (Gainesville)
  • Gainesville Ice House (Gainesville)
  • High School (Geiger) – Located on Hwy 32 in Geiger and built in 1910. It was the first public school in Alabama to provide free public transportation.
  • Yellow Front Store #1 (Geiger)
  • Callaway School (Livingston)
  • Old Probate-County Commission Office (Livingston)
  • Webb Hall, UWA (Livingston)
  • Seale Law Firm (Livingston)
  • Choctaw Tavern, UWA (Livingston)
  • “Our Southern Home” (Livingston)
  • Coleman Center for the Arts (York)

Historical Churches

  • Belmont Methodist Church (Belmont) – was originally known as the Belmont Methodist Church.  It is an example of Greek Revival architecture.  The fromt of the church was originally set on brick pier foundations with recessed entry-ways, but the slip pews are original.  Behind the church is the cemetery which can be dated back to 1834; some of the prominent graves belong to the Arringtons, Rushings, and Spidles. Directions: From Livingston, take Highway 28 S to Coatopa.  At Coatopa take County Road 23 E all the way to Belmont, and the church will be on the left.
  • Christian Valley Baptist Church (Highway 28, Brewersville) – the present building was constructed in 1860, although the congregation was formed in 1833.  The building shows a Southern antebellum adaptation of Greek Revival influence.  When the church was photographed in the spring of 2007, it had been moved about a mile from its original location; a newer church building stands where the old church once stood.  The original building is in desperate need of repair or restoration.
  • United Methodist Church (Highway 28, Brewersville) – was organized in 1833 and built in ca. 1850.  The slave gallery is original and is supported by massive posts running along the sides and rear.  It has its original pews, paneled pulpit, and altar rail.
  • Zion Hill A.M.E. Zion Church (Brewersville)
  • Presbyterian Church (Coatopa)
  • Baptist Church (Cuba) – was built in 1877 to replace a log building on this site.  The sanctuary is the original structure with its hand-hewn timbers that are twelve to fifteen inches wide.  It was originally divided by a partition, the height of the pews, separating the men and women who also used separate entrances.  The decorative trim on the gables of the main structure is an attractive feature.
  • Church of God (Cuba)
  • Presbyterian Church (Cuba)
  • Bethel Memorial Church (Emelle)
  • St. Alban’s Episcopal Church (Gainesvillle)
  • Presbyterian Church (Hwy 39, Gainesville) – the town’s oldest existing house of worship.  The congregation was organized in 1837, and the building was constructed the following year at a cost of $11,000.  Some of the founding members included Van de Graff, Winston, McMahon, Bliss, Rodgers, and Mitchell.  Its first Pastor was Rev. C. A. Stillman, who later founded Stillman Institution in Tuscaloosa.  The church was built in the Greek Revival style with some muted Federalist elements; it is currently in excellent condition.
  • Clark’s Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church (Gainesville)
  • United Methodist Church (Livingston)
  • St. James Episcopal Church (Livingston) – was organized in 1836 and the building was completed in 1840.  Alterations were made to the beautiful art-glass windows in the late 1890s.  Bishop Leonidas Polk consecrated the building in 1843.  This is one of the best preserved antebellum churches in Sumter County.
  • Methodist Church (County Road 35, Panola) – was organized in 1833 as the Methodist Protestant Church. Many of its early members were from North Carolina and included the Stantons, Horns, Littles, Meeks, and Dewberrys. The present building was constructed prior to 1860 (at its current location).
  • Mt. Gilead Baptist Church – the earliest records from this church date it back to 1868.  Local history buff, Jud Arrington, maintained it started much earlier.  Tradition states that Siloam Baptist Church broke off from Mt. Gilean Baptist Church in 1833. Thus lending credence to Mt. Gilead’s antebellum authenticity.  The church structure is an unpainted plain wooden building.  On the interior, the planking is roughly-hewn.
  • Elizabeth Presbyterian Church (South Sumter) – the church was organized in 1838 and housed in a primitive log structure known as the Knox Place.  The church is named after Elizabeth Knox who donated the land to the church.  Later, it was decided to move the church to Gaston, which in the mid-1800s was a thriving town.  In 1858, the log structure was replaced by the present church.  The cemetery or graveyard is a mini-history of south Sumter. The church is need of repair.  Directions: take Highway 17 S from York and continue until County road 42 veers to the left (toward Whitfield).  About a mile down 42, take a dirt road to the left and proceed about a mile to the church.
  • Shorts Baptist Church (Shorts)
  • Baptist Church (County Road 20, Sumterville) – was organized in 1833 at what was then called Patton’s Hill. It is one of two existing churches in Sumterville.  The building has its original spacious windows which retain their double-hung sashing, and the louvered external blinds also appear to be original.
  • Bethel Presbyterian Church (County Road 20, Sumterville) – according to church records, is dated back to the 1830s, but the church wasn’t moved to its present location until 1897.  Some of its earliest members were the Ramseys, Pattons, Flemings, Kerrs, and Dials.

Source: “Extant Antebellum Churches of Sumter County, Alabama” by Horace (Buddy) Hunt.

Please visit the city or town’s page for a brief description of the above churches.