Lanett to celebrate anniversary

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2020

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LANETT — Sunday, Feb. 2 marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of the City of Lanett. A new city was chartered by the Alabama Legislature, formally changing its name from Bluffton, a name the town had held since 1865.

At Monday’s meeting of the Lanett City Council, Mayor Kyle McCoy announced that a big celebration will be taking place in the downtown area on Saturday, April 4.

“We will be having an activity day,” he said. “We will have food trucks and vendors in the downtown area, and we will be honoring our state championship football team from Lanett High. We are hoping for a big turnout, and we will cap off a fun day by having a fireworks show over the Lanett Mill site.”

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Anyone interested in having a food truck or a booth at the event is urged to call city hall.

“We want them to contact us, and we will tell them what they need to do,” McCoy said.

With downtown’s beautiful new look and a gorgeous new fountain, it makes for an ideal gathering spot for public events.When the city’s name was changed from Bluffton to Lanett, it was meant to capitalize off a growing interest in Lanett Mill being a good place to work and the nearby mill village a good place to live.

Even before the official name change, many people were already calling the place Lanett, a name that came from combining the “Lan” from Lafayette Lanier and the “ett” from Theodore Bennett. They had key roles in the mill’s founding, which had started in 1892. Unit One, a four-floor building, went into production in the summer of 1894. Business was so good that a second four-floor section, Unit Two, opened in 1900.

Farm families throughout the region who were looking for a better life flocked to the new and growing mill village. They had the promise of living in a home that was close enough to walk to work. In the coming years, schools, churches and stores would be built. In 1906, the Fraternal Hall & Stores Building went up and by 1920, there was a pharmacy, bakery, barber shop, indoor swimming pool and an office for The Chattahoochee Valley Times in downtown Lanett.