Campbell Environmental Educational Center dedicated March 18
The Campbell Environmental Education Center (CEEC) at the University of West Alabama was dedicated on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. on the Livingston campus.
The Campbell Environmental Education Center is home to offices of the Division of Educational Outreach’s Black Belt Museum and Black Belt Garden. In addition, an educational classroom and community meeting room (which is rentable to the public) are located in the building.
The former Campbell-Strickland House was built in southwest Sumter County in 1900 by Robert Campbell and Susan Alice Gully, and housed a family of eleven, including eight children and a local school teacher.
The house is divided into three sections, the left of which held (from back to front) a kitchen, a dining room, the teacher’s quarters, and Mrs. Campbell’s sun parlor where she painted and displayed her artwork. The front porch now extends across the entire length of the front of the house, replacing the sun parlor. However, the original windows that divided the sun parlor from the front room remain. These unusual windows recede into the attic space allowing them to be used as doorways.
The middle section of the house consisted of two large bedrooms that housed the five daughters of the family—Alice, Laura, Betty, Justina, and Sarah—while the right section of the house also consisted of two large bedrooms, the front one being for the family’s three boys (Bob, Slocum, and Wayne) and the back one being for Robert and Susan.
The house, with its white and green paint scheme, looks much like it did when first built. The sun parlor, which was added later, was too badly deteriorated to move. Stairs came off of the front porch in front of each breezeway. Paths from the stairways met at the gate of a long picket fence. The bed that was created by the front porch and pathways was filled with rose bushes and daffodils while the backyard was shaded by pecan trees. The Campbell’s ran a general store, situated nearby, along a road that ran in front of the house.
The house was donated in 2009 to the University by owners Larry and Crystal Strickland of York.
For information on the Campbell Environmental Education Center, please contact UWA’s Center for the Study of the Black Belt in the Division of Educational Outreach at (205) 652-3828.