Elba is the home base of operations for Pea River adventure and the ideal place for your exploits through the watery wilderness of the 154-mile river. Canoe and kayak rentals are available along with transport to Weeks Bridge providing for a full day or half day of fun. Some other popular sites for sliding canoes, kayaks or small flat bottom boats for float trips down the Pea River in Coffee County include: Wallace Bridge at CR 107; Coles Bridge at CR 147; Folsom Bridge at Highway 167; and Weeks Bridge at CR 248. Anglers can expect a leisurely half day trip between these bridges. Casting small rooster tails or similar lures can usually produce good catches of spotted bass, longear sunfish, and redbreast sunfish. Fishermen using crickets, wigglers or catalpa worms usually catch plenty of sunfish.
The Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries ramp just below the intersection of Highway 84 and County Road 401 is the first point on the Pea River where a boat and outboard motor can be easily launched. This is approximately five miles upstream of the dam at Elba. The river is deeper with slower current in this stretch. Anglers find this area good for catching large-mouth bass and bluegill. This stretch of the river is also a good place to set bush hooks for channel catfish and bullhead catfish.
The Pea River Outdoors shop is located alongside Highway 84 by the Elba Boat Landing, just across the river from the Courthouse Square. The shop provides a convenient place for those who don't have necessities for fishing or paddling. Drinks and snacks are also available. Rentals are also available www.peariveroutdoors.com.
The Historic Downtown Square has stood throughout Elba's history and is considered by many to be a living museum, with a variety of things to do and see. In this beautifully preserved small town you can experience guided walking tours through historic landmarks, including the Coffee County Courthouse, James E. (Big Jim) Folsom Birthplace, and the Old Coffee County Jail. Elba also boast numerous areas and businesses that display the City's impressive appreciation for the arts.
The Coffee County Courthouse
The Courthouse, at the center of the Square, is the heart of downtown. In 1852, after Elba was selected as the county seat of Coffee County, the town was moved back from the river one-half mile to its present location. The Courthouse was built in the center and most of the streets were named for leading citizens. Elba was incorporated on April 13, 1853. The Courthouse has withstood the flooding of the Pea River on numerous occasions. Today the Courthouse is still in operation.
The Neon Cross
Known for its lighted neon cross, the United Methodist Church is a recognizable historic landmark. Elba houses a variety of churches scattered throughout the historic City, and the multitude of churches gives way to a sense of religious diversity. Numerous steeples poke out among the buildings, and the history encompassed in these numerous churches dates back to the 19th Century. Tours include a view of some of these historical and architectural treasures, and a blend of history and beauty combine to make this an exciting way to take a trip into Elba's past.
Located in downtown Elba the Governor Jame E. (Big Jim) Folsom Birthplace is designated as a historic landmark by the State of Alabama. Folsom, a resident of Elba, Coffee County, served as the 45th and 47th Governor of Alabama. He lived in the home from 1908 to 1910 when it was located near the Folsom Mill Creek and Tabernacle communities. The Folsom family continued to own the home until local officials in Elba received it and relocated it to its current Putnam Street site in 2002 - next to the old Coffee County jail.
The Old Coffee County Jail
No trip to Elba would be complete without a visit to the historical Old Coffee County Jail. Built nearly a century-ago the Old Coffee County Jail in Elba has seen its fair share of tragedy. March 1, 1979, Coffee County Sheriff C.F. "Neil" Grantham was murdered in front of the jail. Visitors may wander the Old Jail's grounds and cold hallways to see its mysterious writings on the walls. The jail is located next to the Elba Chamber of Commerce, 329 Putnam Street.
The Stinson House
Historic African-American home of Pauline and Martin Stinson was built in 1903 for a cost of one thousand dollars. The home was the birthplace of eight children. Many of their descendants are still prominent citizens of Elba. During the Elba flood of 1929 a linesman for the telephone company was stuck on top of the house for three days before being rescued. It is now the location of the Elba Chamber of Commerce and is available for meetings and tours.
Mayor James E. Grimes River Walk
The levee walking trail takes recreation seekers on a two mile trip above the downtown area and the land along the Pea River. The walking trail is paved with some lighting, easy access, and parking. The signs at each entrance show the four sections and the length of each. The sections: Whitewater, Downtown, New Town and Beaver Dam provide exercise opportunities, nature walks, educational opportunities and great focal points.
Tiger Town Park
The doors of the past open up to the future here. Although a flood destroyed most of Elba High School in 1990 when the Pea River left its banks, the white and cream front of the school still stands tall and proud. By looking through one of the windows of the three double doors, visitors can see Tiger Town Park; a downtown public playground. The playground wall facing the school is adorned with red, green and blue painted hand prints and signatures of Elba’s youth. The original facade of the building and the front steps, which the school’s alumni still visit during reunions, were saved. Alumni can gather in front of the three double doors on the steps below the large, black Elba High School letters at the top. Tiger Town Park is open to the public.
Summerlyn Park, open to the public, is located on the east bank of the Pea River on Alabama Highway 84 at the Pea River Bridge on the old home place of Vicki and David Bandstra. It is named in memory of their daughter. The park features a 16 x 20-foot pavilion, a walking path, fire pits, and barbecue grills.
Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Memorial Park was built to show appreciation to all veterans for their contributions to the preservation of peace and freedom all Americans enjoy. The Park includes a UH-1 helicopter and M101A2 towed Howitzer on display. The park is also home to the first "Lest They Be Forgotten" memorial in the United States, honoring Elba native Sergeant Jason D. Jordan, who lost his life while serving in Iraq in 2003. A veterans' memorabilia exhibit is located inside The National Security Group's Corporate Headquarters on Highway 84 East in Elba, Alabama and is open year-round 24 hours a day. School groups or others wishing to view the veterans' memorabilia exhibit may do so by appointment. There is no admission charge for any of the park's exhibits.
Many of Elba's most prominent citizens are buried here. The Cemetery is located on what was once the site of the Evergreen Primitive Baptist Church. One interesting grave in the cemetery was that of James Ham who dies in 1858. His wife Susannah Matthews Ham was the daughter of Philip Matthews who was a Revolutionary solider. The gazebo in the cemetery, called a Summer House, was built in 1895. The cemetery is located near North Claxton and Johnson Street.
Coffee County Lake
The 80-acre lake offers three fishing piers that make deep water easy to access. Birding is popular at the lake known as a nesting site for eagles. Fish attractors are along the lake and boats are available to rent. Guests may use their own boats and a launching ramp is available; please note only trolling motors may be used on boats with an outboard motor. Lake amenities include public restrooms, concessions, fishing tackle, bait, and other supplies. The lake is located at 3086 County Road 364, eight miles northwest of Elba, Alabama and is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from sunrise to sunset and on Friday and Saturday from sunrise to 10:00 p.m. For more information on the Coffee County Lake, please call (334) 447-2346 or (334) 447-2384.
Make Your Trip to A Perfect Small Town
For forward thinkers moved by traditions, Elba is a vibrant riverfront community flowing with homegrown values that have created an enduring legacy connecting the very best of the past, present and future.
Whether your experience is by land or by water, by foot or by car, all that Elba, Alabama has to offer will provide entertainment for the entire family.
For more information on Elba's Attractions, please contact the Elba Chamber of Commerce at (334) 897-3125.