***Pine Haven is a fictional town in Alabama, created for my stories. But it’s a combination of lots of my favorite towns and places***
Hi y’all, I’m so happy to see y’all today. Climb on board the bus and get you a seat. Welcome to Pine Haven, Alabama! My name’s Hattie and I’ll be your tour guide today. You know, we didn’t used to have so many visitors to Pine Haven, but that’s changed a bit since Mr. Andrew Hartley started making improvements and marketing the town. We still like to think of our town as a hidden gem, and it’s not so overrun with tourists that we can’t enjoy it. But we do love it when people come down here to see our little place.
Go ahead and take a seat. Let me tell you, you’re gonna need that fan you got, and I hope you brought some water bottles. Alabama in August is hotter than blue blazes, but we’re glad you folks have braved it today.
Let’s get started. We start right here on Main Street. Like I said before, this is Pine Haven, Alabama, population five thousand two hundred, as of the last census. Here we like our town small, our tea sweet, and our gossip hot off the press. Pine Haven was founded by the Hartley family and the Kirkwood family. Those two groups decided they wanted to start their own place, and they settled right here. Back then there was nothing but a dirt road and their two houses. But they started Main Street with one building for the Town Hall and one for a general store.
Now, these days these buildings here are what we call the historic part of town. This row of buildings here is owned by Mr. Andrew Hartley. He inherited them from his grandparents and he decided to fix ‘em up to be used as offices and stores. They still have the historic look from the outside, but the insides have modern conveniences like internet and air conditioning, bless it. That office right there is used by Mr. Pete Collins when he’s in town. He’s our hometown boy that made it big in the technology world, we sure are proud of him.
Let’s keep moving down Main Street. Now here’s what some of you came to town for. There’s the row of antique shops, and the speciality stores. And as we pass by you’ll see The Green. This town space is very popular for gathering and events. There’s a walking path, a children’s playground, and plenty of space for a picnic. We’ll have a movie out there this Friday night, if you’re still in town be sure to stop by.
Now this here is our town Library. Ooooooweee! Mr. Andrew Hartley wanted to build a new library, but he and Lacey Franklin went round and round about that. If you come to the movie Friday, you ask Lacey about it and she’ll tell you the whole story.
We’re heading away from town now, you can enjoy the sights. That’s right folks, there are a few neighborhoods out here, but mostly it trees and land and sky as far as you can see. Just like we like it. In a minute here we’ll be coming up on The Shady Pines Country Club. Some of you fellas will want to check out the golf course while you’re here. Mr. Russell Pierce runs the club now, and it’s never been better. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the restaurant, so stop in there and see Paige, the restaurant manager and tell her Hattie sent ya.
We don’t have quite enough time to go all the way out to the camp, but while you’re in town you should visit Camp in The Pines. We’re very proud of the work they do with kids at Summer camp, events and retreats, and especially the camps they have for foster kids. They also do weddings and special events and now that camp is over for the season, they offer horseback rides.
We’re gonna circle back around to Main Street now, as we pass you’ll see Pine Haven Community Church on the right. Faith certainly is a big part of this community. Every Sunday that church is filled with people from all walks of life. On Sunday morning, you should check it out. Worship services are held at nine and ten, take my word for it, it just might change your life.
Well folks, here we are back on Main Street. Right there is our popular eatery, The Depot. True to its name, its filled with train memorabilia and history of the railroad in Alabama. Plus they have the best hamburger in three counties. Say hi to the owner, Kyle, when you’re in there. You’ll find him in the back, flipping burgers. And listen to me when I say, get one order of fries to share.
That wraps up our tour, ladies and gentlemen. We sure do love our little town, and we hope you do too. Stay a while and enjoy the slower pace of life, the fresh air, and everybody knowing your name.