Elba’s Chamber of Commerce burned down; how it looks from a historian’s perspective

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Wiregrass Archives was created in 2002 by Troy State Dothan’s Campus to identify, preserve and make available records of the wiregrass region with some artifacts dating back to the early 1800s.

Collecting these important documents will allow for the preservation of the area’s history but now, an important piece of Elba’s history has been lost due to a fire.

The original building was a house purchased by Pauline Stinson from F.M. Rushing on Mar 29, 1903, and has survived both the floods of 1929 and 1990 but the building’s time as the Elba Chamber of Commerce has come to an end.

“Unfortunately buildings burn, at least buildings built before the 1950s,” said Director of Wiregrass Archives Dr. Marty Olliff. “That’s not unusual, a building that old, It’s a tragedy to lose anything like that, especially if it was still structurally sound.”

And even though this event is unfortunate for the City of Elba, they can use this experience to move forward into the future.

“Life is a lot like rowing a boat, you don’t row looking forward into the future,” Olliff said. “You row looking backward to the past, and hope you have aim your boat in the right direction.”

And hopefully, Elba can point themselves in the right direction and recover from this event.

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