It all started in 1833, when founder Daniel Pratt arrived on the scene. He established the town of Prattville along the fall line of the Autauga Creek, and shortly after began manufacturing cotton gins. He became the foremost producer of cotton gins in the world, earning Prattville the designation of the “Birthplace of Industry in Alabama.” The city’s people exude that famous “Southern hospitality”, and despite being named one of the fastest growing areas in the state, Prattville has maintained its small-town charm.
Holding on to this heritage, while also focusing on the future, has given Prattville a character all its own. Mayor Bill Gillespie, Jr. explained, “Prattville is a city where progress and preservation go hand-in-hand. We are truly a city on the move, and we are proud of our rich history, but look forward to our future as the ‘Hometown of the River Region.’ We are home to the world-class Robert Trent Jones Capitol Hill golf complex. Additionally, we are proud to have Alabama’s first Bass Pro Outdoor World, as well as many other shopping amenities.”
Patty VanderWal, executive president of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, shared, “There’s a lot of opportunity here. Our community has the best of both worlds. We have the beauty of nature with the convenience of the city, and small-town closeness with unlimited growth potential.” VanderWal added that Prattville’s growth can be credited to its community leadership and education system, stating, “We have strong schools in Autauga County, with a good curriculum and other opportunities for our children.”
There are plenty of things to do in Prattville for everyone from the outdoor enthusiast to the golf connoisseur. World-class golf is played in Prattville at the Robert Trent Jones golf courses. Prattville’s Capitol Hill is the crown jewel of the RTJ Golf Trail, and is host to one of the LPGA National golf tournaments each fall. Prattville is home to a number of parks, complete with playgrounds and walking trails. Those with furry friends will love Cooter’s Pond Park—there is a fenced-off play area, with no leash requirement, for dogs and their owners to spend some quality time together.
Prattville shopping mixes modern and historic storefronts, with a vibrant downtown district that is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Winding through portions of the downtown area is a Creekwalk, nestled along the banks of the Autauga Creek. There are community events happening in the area year-round—Prattville’s annual CityFest is perhaps the most well known.
“There is no shortage of pride when we talk about Prattville,” VanderWal stated. “Combine our rich history, our quality of life, and our focus on the future, and it all adds up to success. We are a community that is moving forward—and the best is yet to come. Our city and county are poised for growth in industry, small business development, and tourism. We are proud of our progress and of our past. We encourage you to join our friendly community and witness the beauty, the history, and the people.”
- Coming Soon: Pratt Gin Shop, adjacent to the dam and historic downtown, will soon be transformed into 147 apartments with exposed brick, beams, and architectural ingenuity.
- Did you know? Prattville has many artesian wells around town, earning it the nickname of “The Fountain City”. Check out the one at the corner of 3rd
Millbrook is the most accessible and populated city within Elmore County. It consistently ranks among the fastest growing cities in Alabama, and its four-zip code area, including Robinson Springs, Coosada, Deatsville, and Elmore, is home to nearly 35,000. Located just ten miles north of Montgomery, Millbrook’s close proximity to Montgomery and nearby Maxwell AFB has not only helped shape the city, but continues to define its growth and opportunities.
Millbrook residents enjoy small city comforts and community paired with urban conveniences, creating a sought after and enjoyable way of life. Nearly 80% of households in the city are family households. As more and more people discover the allure of the good life in Millbrook, the community spirit of this close-knit city flourishes. Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley shared, “Millbrook is all about comfort, convenience, and community. Our elected officials understand that our citizens are our best resource. We want people to move here, stay here, and make Millbrook home.”
The great outdoors plays a prominent role in Millbrook’s quality of life. There are various recreation opportunities within the municipal parks system including a city-owned golf course, a unique YMCA, known as the Grandview Y, and the Alabama Nature Center, a crown jewel in Millbrook. The city is working on another recreational project, known as The Fields at Seventeen Springs, that will transform the Highway 14 corridor and position the city as a regional draw and destination point. Other outdoor activities can be enjoyed at nearby lakes and waterways, including the Alabama River and scenic Lakes Martin and Jordan.
One of the most significant assets to the Millbrook area is the Alabama Wildlife Federation, a state-wide outdoor conservation organization headquartered in Millbrook on the Lanark Estate. At Lanark, AWF operates the Alabama Nature Center, a top-notch outdoor education facility with miles of diverse nature trails, an indoor conservation education center with a hands-on Discovery Hall, a large outdoor pavilion, and many unique and fun programs and events for schools and the general public.
Exceptional residential developments, outstanding outdoor and recreational venues, excellent public schools and leadership, quality health care providers and facilities, and positive local government add to the quality of life in the Millbrook area. “Our city administration is working hard to define our future by helping create economic opportunities that make us vibrant and safe. We’re working to bring good shopping, dining, and employment options to the city, and hope to see a number of projects come to fruition soon. Check out Millbrook—it just feels like home,” shared Mayor Kelley.
- Millbrook was incorporated as a city in 1977.
- Millbrook is located 10 miles north of Montgomery, Alabama’s state capital, and can be immediately accessed by Interstate 65 via Exits 176, 179, and 181.
- The Pines Golf Club is a public facility owned and operated by the City of Millbrook. The 18-hole scenic golf course is a favorite of both residents and visitors.
- Area population is around 34,000.
- The Coosa and Alabama Rivers are located on the eastern side of the city, and scenic Lakes Martin and Lake Jordan are located just minutes away.
Did you know?
Jackson Lake Island in Millbrook is home to the “Town of Spectre” movie set from Tim Burton’s classic “Big Fish”.
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians along the Coosa River, Wetumpka is appropriately known as the “City of Natural Beauty.” Thanks to the six-mile stretch of whitewater rapids, well-developed hiking and biking trails, and beautiful lakes, it is a haven for outdoor recreation lovers.
The city’s archaeological significance is staggering—it is the site of the most cataclysmic geological event in the area’s history. Some 83.4 million years ago, a meteor slammed into the shallow sea that once covered this entire region. Today, its remains are showcased in the four-mile wide crater the meteor’s impact left behind, with the city’s downtown cradled in its basin.
Wetumpka (an Indian term meaning “rumbling waters”) is abundant in lore and legend and rich with history. DeSoto’s expeditions traversed the area nearly 500 years ago and found a palisade village built around A.D. 1000. In 1717, the French established Fort Toulouse as a military outpost and trading center, which was the beginning of an important trade hub for the entire area and continues to the present.
Outdoor recreation remains Wetumpka’s focus in terms of economic development. The Coosa River offers a great time for both beginner and skilled whitewater enthusiasts. The blue-green waters of 44,000-acre Lake Martin are only 20 minutes away, and the shores of smaller Lake Jordan are even closer—a mere 10-minute drive. Both offer endless opportunities for boating, fishing, and much more.
The city is home to loads of gorgeous architecture that can be seen in its historic courthouse (built in 1931), the distinctive Bibb Graves Bridge, and several pre-Civil War antebellum churches. Wetumpka’s bustling downtown district is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis shared, “Downtown Wetumpka has a nice stock of buildings. The downtown business mix includes retail, dining, offices, and services that cater to the local and county market, visitors, downtown-area employees, and businesses revolving around the Elmore County Courthouse.”
On January 19, 2019, an EF-2 tornado significantly damaged areas of downtown Wetumpka. After the storm, citizens of Wetumpka and surrounding areas band together in an effort to repair the damage and get the city back on its feet—they labeled their project “Wetumpka Strong.” Nearly 800 volunteers showed up the day after the tornado, ready to help in any way possible.
Operated by the Poarch Creek Band of Indians, Wind Creek Casino and Hotel draws in business from tourists and locals alike. In addition to over 2,500 gaming machines spread over 85,000 square feet, the property is home to several restaurants, as well as a 20-story hotel. Wind Creek Casino is currently the largest casino in Alabama and serves as one of the top employers in Elmore County.
When it comes to understanding what makes Wetumpka so special, Mayor Willis explained, “Simply put, people love living in Wetumpka for the small town charm it offers and leisurely lifestyle. The abundance of walking trails and recreational biking and hiking trails is ideal for the outdoor enthusiast. Wetumpka’s rich history and preserved sites such as the Elmore County Historical Museum and the Black History Museum attract locals and foreigners. It’s easy to fall in love with Wetumpka because of its diverse events that feature fun for the entire family.”
Did you know? Parts of The Rosa Parks Story, Big Fish, and Son of the South were filmed in Wetumpka.