Editor’s note: This is a look at one of the city’s eight local historic landmarks. Find others in this and coming Longview 150 sections.
The Rucker-Campbell House was constructed in 1872 by Asa Rucker, who was the owner of a large sawmill. The Rucker family were the original builders and owners of the house.
The house was originally built in a Beaux Arts style and converted to a Queen Anne Victorian in 1903. After the conversion, three additions were done to the house over the years to add a sleeping porch, a solarium, and to convert the house into an apartment.
In 2010, Preservation Longview began a restoration process. This process includes restoring the interior of the house, stabilization of the foundation, and reconstruction of the masonry fireplaces.
The most prominent owner of the house was Judge J.N. Campbell. In 1898, Campbell began his law practice in Longview. He served as county and district clerk as well as county judge of Gregg County. He also built Lake Devernia, which is located west of Longview and was named after his daughter. Judge Campbell’s brother was Gov. Thomas M. Campbell, who was the second native-born governor of Texas.
Currently, Preservation Longview is the owner of the house which is unoccupied. The organization is restoring the house so that it may be used as a community venue and museum.
The Rucker-Campbell House is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.
As part of Preservation Longview’s 10th anniversary last year, the organization showcased artifacts found during restoration of the house.
Included were the shell of what organization officials suspect was the pet turtle of the family that lived in the house. Drawings of early designs of the home were included, along with a tea set, china dolls, bottles and other artifacts found during archaeological digs on the grounds.
Among the artifacts is a Victorian ladies’ parasol of lace and silk that is more than 100 years old and caused a stir when it was unearthed. Preservation Longview members say footsteps and other noises were heard until the parasol was taken out of the house.