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Shout out to the Pea River  Historical and Genealogical Society for telling me about this book!

Shout out to the Pea River Historical and Genealogical Society for telling me about this book!

It’s been a few weeks– well, months, actually– since I began the dive into my family’s move from Haw Ridge, Alabama to Enterprise.

Since then, I’ve discovered a 200-page gem that could reveal the information I’ve been seeking: was it the intrepid Nance spirit or a gentle push from the government (i.e., eminent domain) that prompted the move?

Last year I emailed the president of the Pea River Historical and Genealogical Society, which is a wonderful resource for anyone looking for information about the history of the Wiregrass area of Alabama. I asked if he knew anything about eminent domain and Fort Rucker. He suggested that I read The Origins of Fort Rucker, by Val L. McGee.

Lo and behold, Amazon had one copy of the book left. I just started reading the book last night, and the first few pages have provided a rich context for understanding southeast Alabama’s climate during the 1930s. Here you had a once-thriving community nearly suffocated by the Great Depression. It was a tableau that stretched from one end of the state to the other, one that repeated itself across the country.

But there was a difference in Dale County, Alabama: folks saw an opportunity to turn nothing into something.

 

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