- This photo is the one-room Bellamy school, taken in 1954. Pictured L to R are:
- 1st Row: Bobby Allison, Loraine Allison, Warren Haynie, Gary Davidson, Nadine Harris, John McClure, Jean Ann Mallard.
- 2nd Row: Hal Davidson, Glenda Steinwinder, Jean Ross, Nelson Trudell
- 3rd Row: Edward Haynes, Louis Wilkerson, William Hale Ross, Robert Wilkerson.
- (Thank you to Jean Ross Pantel for identifying these!)
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Bellamy was founded by Evan F. Allison and established as a sawmill town in 1899 with the Allison Lumber Company. It was the home of Sumter County's first hospital, and also a pressing shop, shoe shop, carpentry businesses, library & telephone office, post office, two recreation halls, commissary, filling station, two swimming pools (one for whites & one for blacks), three churches (one for whites & two for blacks), a hotel, slaughter house, opera house, train depot, and gambling house.
As tradition states, the residents of the town decided to break the tradition of naming the town after some prominent citizen or famous person. Instead, they sought out the least respected person in town, Mr. Volney Bellamy, a Union Army veteran, and named the town for him.
The one-room red frame school building was built around 1909 and attended mainly by children whose parents were employed at the lumber mill. All the students were allowed to go home for lunch each day. History states that the school offered grades 1-6. Mrs. Florence Haynie was teacher & principal for many years until her death in 1939. Miss Lottie Hood began teaching there approx. 1930 and stayed more than 30 years in positions as teacher, manager, director, and custodian. The school was closed in September 1963.
The Allison Lumber Company's wooden fire tower was built in Bellamy in 1922. It was the first in the State of Alabama, and was torn down in the 1960's.
Sumter County's first hospital was built in Bellamy in 1925, at the insistence of Dr. Hale. Built by employees of the lumber company, it was the only hospital in several surrounding counties for a while. The ground floor was divided into the clinic and the colored ward. The second floor contained surgery and adjacent pre-sterilization room, a small lab and x-ray room, a nurses' station, the main pharmacy, seven beds for white patients, two rooms for the white nurses, and the business office.
The town is located on US Hwy 80 in Sumter County, East of Hwy 17 about 7 miles, and West of where Hwy 28 intersects Hwy 80. Very little of the original town buildings remain, but many of the old original small houses are still there and occupied.