Since its incorporation in 1835, the seat of Sumter County—Livingston, Alabama—has kept many of its historic landmarks, from its thrice-replaced county courthouse to a source of pride, the University of West Alabama. Much can be learned about a town through visiting landmarks. We’ll take you through a look at Livingston historical sites as far back as the 1830s.
- Sumter County Courthouse. This tenacious county courthouse, now listed on the national register, has been through three reincarnations: first as a log building; second as a frame building in 1839 before it was destroyed in a fire; and third as the red, brick-laid courthouse built in 1902 presently located in the center of town.
- The University of West Alabama. While UWA has history into the early 1800s, it didn’t begin as the school we know today: the university began operations as the Livingston Female Academy. The institution transformed into the Alabama Normal School, where appropriated funds were used to train teachers. Later, the school became the co-ed Livingston State Teachers College in 1929, and after a few more iterations of its name (Livingston State College and then Livingston University), the University of West Alabama was officially born in 1995.
- Myrtlewood Cemetery. With respect to those deceased buried here, Myrtlewood Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Sumter County, with records dating back to 1830.
- Bored Well. This well, located in the Courthouse Square, is not named for being in a state of perpetual boredom. The well was named for its original conception in 1854, in which a mule pulled an old auger in circles until an artesian aquifer was found. This Livingston historic site has also gone through some changes: a handpump was install to the well in 1904, followed by an electric pump in 1928. A drinking fountain now stands in its place, covered by a brick pavilion.
- Livingston City Hall. Visitors to Livingston can see the original design of the old Southern Railroad Depot where the Livingston City Hall now stands. The building was built in the 1870s and served passengers and freighters for the railway services passing through Atlanta, Birmingham, and New Orleans. The old depot continued as a freight office even when passengers were no longer being picked up until the state of Alabama granted the building renovations in 2001, turning it into Livingston City Hall.
- Covered Bridge. The covered bridge in Livingston originally spanned across the Sucarnoochee River in 1861 before it was moved to serve the Alamuchee Creek in 1924. The bridge was moved yet again and renovated to the University of West Alabama. It is considered one of the oldest bridges in Alabama.
If you’re thinking about visiting Livingston, Alabama, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the local history by visiting any of these important Livingston historical sites. Stay in touch with what is going on in and around Livingston and the University of West Alabama by continuing to follow the UWA Online Continuing Education e-Learning blog! To learn more about our course offerings or to register for courses, visit www.uwa.edu/ce.