Today in Alabama/America we see fewer and fewer little colonial/antebellum/victorian-type towns. They are vanishing faster than people realize. St.Clair County is fortunate it still have one in the little town of Ashville.
Many have been swallowed by progress, but Ashville is unique in that it is situated in a geographical location where it can have both progress & retain its small-town appeal with a courthouse square and historic homes. It is near the I-59 corridor, which is starting to attract the attention of businesses.
This will bring in more retail, restaurants and industry where the local residents can shop, eat and get jobs and have more conveniences. This will be good for the town and the people wholive here.
Then there is the little town itself, which will benefit from that growth on I-59 and eventually see mom-and-pop businesses springing up around the square, and hopefully many specialty shops to attract people who to take day trips.
At that time, it will be a destination point much like Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Georgia, or perhaps Gatlingburg, Tennessee, instead of a wide place in the road that travelers pass through without spending one penny.
I have said for many decades that Ashville is a hidden gem that the locals who grew up here and live here have taken for granted, never realizing what potential the little town has as they have seen it every day of their lives.
That’s why tourists flock to the other little towns I have mentioned. We also have Canoe Creek, Lake Neely Henry on the Coosa River and Horse Pens 40 to name but a few local attractions.
If the city, businesses and people in Ashville would come together and just do it, you could decorate the city for every holiday like Christmas, 4th of July, ect., and make it a town people will want to visit and spend their money.
At the start, this might cost a little, but once the first decorations are bought, they can be used every year until needing to be replaced. The dividends will payoff in the long run.
It will take cooperation and planning from everyone, but the results will be even greater for Ashville and your businesses. If we sit and do nothing, then that’s what we can expect — nothing.
Isn’t it worth at least trying? After all, it is our town and it will be what we make it or do not make it. No one is going to do it for us, and it needs to be done.