WSFA 12 on Tour in Eufaula: Barbour County's Economic Growth

The 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 there.

Today, it's not the river but the roads, Eufaula depends on. A widening project along Highway 431, which runs from Phenix City to the Florida line, is slated for completion in 2009.

"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," said Chamber of Commerce Director, Jim Bradley.

Bradley means Eufaula is within easy driving distance to urban centers like Montgomery, Columbus, and Dothan.

Many people in those cities come there for the lake. It's one of the largest in the Southeast at more than 44-thousand acres. Lake Eufaula has more than 600 miles of shoreline.

"It's 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," said Bradley.

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 Antebellum homes by day telling visitors their stories.

"And then we also have a candlelight tour so you can tour the homes at night," said Bradley.

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.