My hometown is Westover

This sign for the city of Westover welcomes visitors traveling on U.S 280. (Contributed)

By NIVA DOROUGH / Community Columnist

As you travel along the busy Highway 280 East corridor just past Chelsea, you soon approach a sign reading “Welcome to Westover.”

Sandwiched between that sign and a caution light appears to be an extremely small town. However, from the four-lane highway you just can’t really see what the town is all about. I would like to introduce you to various interesting people, businesses and also highlight upcoming events that make up the “heart” of Westover.

Do you remember as a child how much fun it was to break a part an Oreo cookie and eat the cream filling first? The best part of the cookie seemed to be the inside! Your mom always told you, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” You must read it to understand it, so here it goes!

Westover was established in 1901 and incorporated in 2001.

The latest population report from 2010 was 2,200 people. A lo of water has run under the bridge during those years.

Many residents have been in Westover many years and remember places such as a sawmill, Archer Grocery, the old post office located by the railroad tracks and Hatcher & Strothers Grocery stores side by side on old Highway 280. Oh yes, and who could forget the Westover Café, similar to the one on “Happy Days,” where so many used to go frequently and have a delicious hamburger. These places have come and gone, but are still very much a part of our memories.

Believe it or not, Westover is a 22-square-mile area with city limits bordering Chelsea and Harpersville.

The city has experienced significant growth over the past few years. We welcome many new families that have moved into our newest residential subdivisions, Willow Oaks, The Villages of Westover, Carden Crest, Chelsea Square and Yellowleaf Farms. We are looking forward to the new development by Eddleman Properties and Pine Mountain Preserve, which will be the largest development of its kind ever built in the state of Alabama.

Our mayor, Mark McLaughlin, his wife, Sherry, and their children, Micah and Ralyn, are very active in the community and are excited to see new growth and progress, while holding onto a small-town atmosphere.

A lovely new recreational park with walking track, many churches of your choice, a fire department, along with local businesses make life more enjoyable for our residents. Who would have ever imagined years ago that we would be able to drive to the grocery store just ten minutes away! It seems we have the best of both worlds.

So, if you like horses, barns, beautiful Redbud trees, roses, gardens, a small yard or lots of grass to mow, just take a drive around town and you will see it all. Come visit the park and breathe the fresh air or stop by the Highway 51 Country Store to grab a Coke or a cup of coffee and relax in a rocking chair on the front porch where you may see an old friend or neighbor. If you come early enough, you may just meet some of our local residents.

I’m looking forward to meeting you, and I’m proud Westover is my hometown.

Niva Dorough can be reached at niva@americansafetytread.com.