The Heart of the City

TROY, Ala. (WBRC) - At one time, town squares were the heart of the community, and there are still a few places where that history is still alive. On the Troy town square, you’ll find new places, as well as efforts to preserve the past.

Jenna Barnes explains how she and her sons are helping keep the Troy traditions. “Last year, my oldest son and I decided, ’Why don’t we open a bakery? Let’s see what we can do.’ So, we found this spot. It happened to be up for lease, and it was a perfect place for us.”

B. Sweet Dessert Boutique is one of the many new businesses opening around the square in downtown Troy.

“We do a lot of custom birthday cakes and weddings,” says Jenna. “People can come in, and if they’re looking for a specific cookie or just need some ideas for a special occasion, we can go through the cookie cutters, and I can design them really however they want. I always thought if I was going to open a bakery, I wanted to be on the square. It’s just kind of the heart of the city.”

Just off the square in downtown Troy, you’ll find the Chapman House. It’s right next door to the original Catholic church in Troy.

“The Chapman House was originally built by Martin Connor,” explains Casey Browder of The Emporium and Chapman House. “He was from Ireland. He was a businessman, a local merchant. He was very involved in the Catholic church, so he commissioned the Emporium, what we call now the Emporium, as the first Catholic church in Troy in 1915. It was a Catholic church until 1977.”

A new Catholic church was built, and the building became an events center. Then the historic site went on the market.

Anna Hawkins remembers, “I jokingly texted it to Casey and was like, what if we bought a wedding venue? We’ve both very passionate about Troy and wanting it to grow and wanting the history to stay alive here. We have a lot of local people who love to get married at The Emporium simply because they are from Troy, and it’s just rich in history and it’s like one of the places in Troy that is very old and very rich in history and very beautiful.”

“One of the fun things about Troy is you do have the aspect of the University,” explains Anna. “So, you have people coming from, my husband is from Georgia, I’m from Montgomery, coming to Troy from different places. It’s kind of fun to be able to interlink that aspect of people who aren’t from here coming here to get married and their friends are already here. Their community is already here.”

Casey agrees, “I truly believe that the Troy community is like none other.”

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Fred Hunter

Fred Hunter

WBRC First Alert Meteorologist Fred Hunter was born in Alabama in the historic town of Ft. Payne. He has lived, attended school, raised his family and worked in the South all his life.