A Voting Rights Project
While at a restaurant, David Hall (1905-1972) overheard organizers discussing the need for campsites for their march from Selma to Montgomery. As one of few black landholders in the area, Hall offered his property. On March
21, 1965, 300 marchers spent the evening on Hall’s farm, Campsite 1, after their seven-mile walk from Selma, along Route 80. They rested their feet, ate spaghetti on paper plates, gathered around campfires, and slept in four large tents on the property while the Alabama National Guard kept watch. The evening was cold, and as a few restless marchers gathered around fires for warmth, they discussed the perils ahead as they prepared to march through Lowndes County the next day. Fueled by oatmeal and eager to make the 17-mile trek to Rosa Steele’s farm, the marchers left the campsite by 8am.
The marchers spent a little more than twelve hours at Hall’s farm, but his invaluable participation that supported the voting rights movement cost him dearly: banks closed his accounts and denied credit; without lines of credit he could no longer operate his farm; the Ku Klux Klan regularly threatened him. In 2021, the Hall family reclaimed and reconstituted Hall's property as a farm with the USDA. The David Hall Foundation was founded in 2022, aiming to initiate work at the site ahead of the 60th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights March in 2025.
As a temporary refuge for the marchers, the Hall Farm is a critical site along the Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail and this competition seeks to expand engagement and enrichment opportunities for the site. This ideas competition welcomes proposals for creating architectural and landscape interventions at the site that will enhance cultural awareness while supporting education and research initiatives amid an environment grounded in service and sustainability. The site for this competition includes original land from the Hall farm, but it does not disrupt any of the areas near the actual campsite.
To register, please visit https://www.hallheritagecenter.org/registration
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