On 10/16/2022, a tragedy took place in Downtown Enterprise, Alabama. A structure fire destroyed four historic buildings and severely impacted one other. This resulted in the closing of three small businesses as well as total destruction of one historic residence.
Please consider donating to the 2022 Downtown Enterprise Fire Relief Campaign. Funds will be collected by Friends of Main Street Enterprise and divided evenly between the affected businesses: Coffee Corner, The She Shed, All About Art, Serendipity by Kei as well as one residential property.
Sadly, the 4th quarter holiday season makes up the bulk of their yearly profits, and now this will not be possible. The Boll Weevil Monument has stood watch over this historic corner for over a hundred years. The Monument is a reminder of the resiliency and determination of the citizens of Enterprise when faced with adversity. Help us continue the tradition of neighbors helping neighbors in the city of Enterprise.
Our roots run deep. Entrepreneur John Henry Carmichael saw opportunity among the pines and wiregrass of south Alabama in 1881.The town he founded was incorporated as Enterprise in 1896 just before the arrival of the Alabama Midland Railroad Company.Our city thrived as a center of Alabama’s cotton economy growing from 250 residents to nearly 4,000 in ten short years.
Out of difficulty prosperity grows. A pest emerged across the rural south that would surely destroy our community’s success. The Boll Weevil decimated cotton crops across the south. Leaders here looked to legendary agronomist George Washington Carver for a solution. His mother was born a slave and he relocated to Alabama in the early 1900’s to lead the agriculture department at the prestigious Tuskegee Institute.
From diversity comes success. Dr. Carver had researched the many benefits of crop rotation and the peanut as a plant of 300 uses. By embracing his findings Coffee County would come to produce more peanuts than any county in the nation in 1917. This historic pivot inspired residents to celebrate the turn of events with a monument to a pest. By 1919 the Boll Weevil monument earned a place of honor in the center of our city.
Our freedom demands innovation. Two decades later, war loomed over our country as we entered World War II.Our community would transform again. In 1942 Camp Rucker opened with quarters for over 3,000 officers and nearly 40,000 enlisted men. From here, Soldiers trained to fight for freedom across the globe. Today, Fort Rucker is home to the United States Army Aviation Branch and pilots train here from across the nation and world.
We rise from tragedy. Enterprise continued to grow as a dynamic place in the post war years. Our community is known for embracing newcomers as family. Yet, catastrophe would strike again in 2007 as a tornado touched down here taking nine lives – eight of them students at Enterprise High School. Wildcat pride rallied our city to respond to the tragedy with care and compassion that is a hallmark of true community.
We look ahead with purpose. Our community is truly unique. We honor a pest that could have destroyed us, we unite around soldiers on a mission for freedom, we welcome newcomers with a smile, we hug those that come home to our place. Our downtown is at the center of this circle of prosperity. It is here that we celebrate, here that we shop and dine, here that we salute our heroes, and here that we enjoy the place we call home.