Pike, Barbour and Bullock counties are located in the southeast part of the state. With abundant natural resources, the area is a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts and those who enjoy outdoor recreation.
Pike County is home to Troy University, its largest employer, which has a major impact both economically and through the various services the university provides for neighboring cities and town.
Pike County was organized in 1821 and was once called the “State of Pike” because it was so large. Today, it has about 671 square miles. The county has a lot of agriculture, but also is known for a diverse economy that includes trucking, aviation and aerospace, and plastics and recycling. It has a strong health care base, as well. The city of Troy is its county seat.
Barbour County was formed in 1832, and while the county seat is Clayton, there is a courthouse maintained in Eufaula, the largest city. It’s the home of the most Alabama governors – six governors and two acting governors grew up in Barbour County.
Eufaula, home to a National Wildlife Refuge, also has Lake Eufaula, cited as the bass fishing capital of the world – and that attracts plenty of tourism. The county has a branch of Wallace Community College in Eufaula, and enjoys a diverse manufacturing base. The Equity Group – Eufaula Division, a poultry processing operation, is the largest employer.
Bullock County was formed in 1866. Union Springs is the county seat and the largest city. The largest manufacturing employer is a poultry processor, but a plant distributor also contributes jobs with up to 3, 200 employees in the summer.
Bullock County is world famous for its wildlife habitats and hunting plantations and is the Field Trial Capital of the World. Every year, hundreds of hunters from the U.S. and abroad come to enjoy the county’s game preserves and hunting lodges and to watch bird dogs compete in field championships.
Lori Chandler Pruitt is a freelance writer for Business Alabama. She lives in Birmingham.
Lori Chandler Pruitt