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            Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Alabama, Enterprise hosts a rich history full of southern charm and hospitality. Incorporated in 1896, Enterprise already had a population of approximately 250. Shortly following the construction of the railroad built by Southwestern Alabama Railway in 1896, the population began to steadily rise. By 1903 the Rawls Hotel (originally the McGee Hotel or the Enterprise Hotel), the first hotel in Enterprise built by Captain Japheth Rawls, was established. When built, it was the only building in town equipped with electric lighting. The hotel has since been converted into a restaurant with a bed and breakfast. Various other business offices are also within the hotel, now referred to as the Historic Rawls Hotel.

 

            As the small town of Enterprise began to grow in the early 1900s, a terrible boll weevil infestation moved into the area in 1915. Destroying the town’s cash crop of cotton, the pests devastated Enterprise’s economy. By 1916 farmers in the area were on the verge of bankruptcy and needed relief. Quick to respond, John Pittman, an agent for Coffee County, urged local farmers to chance diversification of agriculture and begin producing peanuts. By 1917 farmers in the area had changed their crop production to peanuts. Coffee County boasted the highest producing peanut production in the state in 1919. In appreciation for what the boll weevil ultimately brought to the area, a monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919. The Boll Weevil Monument is the only monument in the world to “glorify” a bug. The monument is now located on Main Street, downtown Enterprise and is on the National Historic Register.