Barbour County's Economy And Hope For The Future

The historic city of Eufaula got its start as a transportation hub. Today, transportation is still an important growth factor, but tourism and recreation are the main thrusts of the economy.

However, today, it is not the river, but the roads, Eufaula depends on a widening project along U.S. Highway 431, which runs from Phenix City to the Florida line is slated for completion in 2009. Jim Bradley is the director of the Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce says, "With the completion of that we'll have a nice four-lane artery that will help attract industry and move people who live here with safety back and forth. " Bradley means Eufaula is within easy driving distance to urban centers like Montgomery, Columbus, and Dothan.

Many people in those cities come to Eufaula for the lake, one of the largest in the southeast.  At more than 44,000 acres, Lake Eufaula has more than 600 miles of shoreline. Bradley, "It is known as one of the best bass fishing lakes in the world and as a result we host dozens of tournaments here on an annual basis."

Tourists also flock to the city for its annual pilgrimage of homes.  During the civil war, Eufaula was never touched by union troops. Today, volunteers fill the anti bellum homes by day telling visitors their stories.

By the way, the word Eufaula is an Indian word meaning "high bluff." As in the past, the city's pivotal location and beautiful natural resources are the key to its quality of life.

Reporter: Mark Bullock