Situated in a tree lined valley of the Appalachian foothills, Anniston Alabama is the commercial and industrial center of Calhoun County. With a mild climate and four distinct seasons, Anniston has plentiful outdoor recreational opportunities, including bicycling, fishing, camping and golfing.
Anniston remained predominantly an iron town until 1881 when a second major industry was added: cotton textiles. The wives and children of the ironworkers furnished the labor for the cotton mill. When application was made to incorporate this village called Woodstock, it was discovered there already was a Woodstock, Alabama. The founding fathers settled on the name Anniston, in honor of Tylerís wife, Annie. On July 3, 1883 during an official ceremony, Anniston was opened to the public. The first Anniston Newspaper, The Hot Blast, revealed an exciting tale of rapid, almost overnight growth following the opening of the community. Anniston became the first city in Alabama to be lighted with electricity in 1882, and was enjoying the convenience of telephones as early as 1884. Each year the list of industries, businesses, churches, and schools grew as people came to Anniston to live, work and prosper. In 1887 Woodstock Iron was reorganized to include The Anniston Pipe Works.
The military also plays an important role in the growth of Anniston. In 1917, the federal government purchased 18,952 acres adjoining Anniston for the development of Camp McClellan. Renamed Fort McClellan in 1929, the US Army used the area heavily for training until, with the downsizing of the military, the impending closing happened in 1999. The Anniston Ordinance Depot, operating as part of the war effort in 1942, was Annistonís largest employer in the 1980ís with up to 4,800 civilian employees. The military shares the same philosophy as the founding fathers of Anniston-to retain the beauty of the area, but still be progressive and forward thinking in their growth, development and missions.
Anniston was awarded the prestigious All American City Award in 1978. In 2004, over 24,000 people are choosing to make Anniston their home. This brief glimpse into the growth of Anniston should encourage the generations that follow to continue in the careful planning of future economic development and quality of life for itís citizens and surrounding communities.
With a mild climate and four distinct seasons, Anniston has plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities, including biking on the Chief Ladiga Trail and golfing on two municipal golf courses. Anniston is also rich in cultural arts as it is the home of the Anniston Museum of Natural History, the Berman Museum of World History, the summer home of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music at McClellan. Whether your interest is in work or play, the City of Anniston has something for you.
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