Camden's Bed & Breakfasts offer guests unique experiences
Whether for hunting, fishing, or for a visit to Gee’s Bend, many tourists make their way to or through Camden in Wilcox County. True to Camden’s small-town charm, three local bed and breakfasts offer a welcoming and comfortable experience for all visitors. Liberty Hall, Capell House at Pebble Hill, and Pleasant Ridge all provide memorable experiences for any kind of guest.
Liberty Hall Bed and Breakfast serves guests from all over the world. Currently, Julia Ann and her husband, Dudley, both live at Liberty Hall full time. The Greek Revival home, built in the 1850s, has been passed down in Julia Ann Handley’s family, most recently being resided in by her Aunt Sarah, a World War II veteran who charged the Handleys to be caretakers of the home.
Upon seeing the potential for a bed and breakfast with plenty of spare rooms, the Handleys opened The Liberty Hall Bed and Breakfast in May 2017. “It was Dudley’s idea to open a bed and breakfast. The first year we opened, we only had two bedrooms downstairs to stay in,” Julia Handley said. Now, there are six rooms available for rent.
This year, for the second year in a row, Liberty Hall won best bed and breakfast in Alabama Magazine’s ‘Best of Bama,’ which readers vote on. “That’s the kind of thing I’m really proud of, but I don’t want to dwell on that. I want to just continue taking care of our guests, and do what we know I do, love on them, and share Jesus with them,” Handley said.
When Liberty Hall opened, they were surprised by the popularity but excited to have the opportunity to meet so many people. “I never had a clue it would be such a blessing. We don’t take it lightly.” Handley added.
Liberty Hall has a unique quality in that much of the furniture in the home was already there or belonged to other family members. “Eighty percent of what’s here is original to the house, most of it in excellent shape,” she added.
The Capell House at Pebble Hill, another home deeply rooted in history, provides another place to stay for tourists coming through the Black Belt region.
The Capell House, built in 1858, was originally the home of the Capell family. The home changed hands multiple times and was eventually neglected. The property was purchased by Jackie Sharp and her husband in 2016. After major renovations, the home opened for business as a bed and breakfast and event venue in 2019.
“We renovated an antebellum home, so we saved a little piece of history. This allows people to come from all over the country and the world and experience our very diverse region in Wilcox County,” Sharp stated.
Capell House is a working farm, providing a special experience. Visitors can expect to be greeted by pet geese, chickens, horses, and a mule. Products from the farm are used in Sharp’s breakfast meals. A classically trained chef, Sharp likes to use farm fresh ingredients to create a personal breakfast experience for her guests.
Pleasant Ridge, located at Canton Bend, is owned by Scottie and Tammy Myers. Built in 1838 by Tristan Bethea, with Greek Revival and Federal elements, the home stood unoccupied for many years until the 1980s, when it was renovated.
The Myers decided to buy the home from another couple and became the first family to live at Pleasant Ridge fulltime in 100 years. “We are engaged in the community. This is now our home,” Tammy Myers said.
The couple took a leap of faith to move from Alexander City to move into Pleasant Ridge. The couple felt called to work to preserve and honor the home. “We are trying to preserve this piece of history. This is the only two-story brick left in Camden, one of the few in the state,” Scottie Myers said. “We’re caretakers of it.”
The couple made renovations true to the home’s style and added pieces they accumulated over the years from antique stores and flea markets. They officially opened for reservations in 2020. The home has two rooms inside the home as well as a fully updated log cabin behind the home available for rent.
The Myers love to promote Camden when out of town. The couple is involved in historical reenactments and often dress in 1860s attire. “We like people to ask about our clothes because we get to talk about Camden and Pleasant Ridge, and people are receptive,” Mrs. Myers said.
These locally owned bed and breakfasts reflect the love and care of their owners. All provide unique experiences in the Black Belt and contribute to the local economy. For more information, visit: