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15th anniversary of the Times

By Michael Butler

There have been approximately 10 million views of more than 10 thousand items from news to sports to photographs in the 15-year span of the Tallassee Times. It all began with the very first edition posted on Sept. 30, 2008.

"Great job on the website," said Ryan Merrett.

"Great format, fun and quick to read," Barry Mask added.

"I just found out about You're doing a great job," exlcaimed Ashley Baker.

Those were some of the early remarks 15 years ago. Thank you all for the kind words over the years. Here was our first article posted in the fall of '08:

Welcome to Tallassee Times

Welcome to www.TallasseeTimes.comTallassee Times is Tallassee’s on-line newspaper. The worldwide web has become an integral part of our lives. We hope that Tallassee Times will be an outlet for you to learn more about happenings around Tallassee, and that you will visit the site often. We will make frequent updates and your input is welcome.

Here's what we plan to offer:

1. News & Events. Information on issues surrounding our community. We will offer a forum for you to express your opinons and post your feedback.

2. Sports. Local high school and youth activities will be a priority. We encourage you to help us with this category.

3. Weather. This one is easy. There will be a link to Tallassee's forecast and temperature accesible 24/7.

4. Social Happenings. Send us your announcements for wedding engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. There will be no charge for these listings. We want your pictures too. Send your photos from your parties and events.

5. Highlights. We will post audio interviews with the who's who of the Tallassee area.

This is your website. Any comments or assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

The Class of '89 (left) taking part in the homecoming parade in 2008. That same year, fans sat on the old home stands of J.E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium. Expansion in 2010 moved the home seats to the opposite side of the stadium.

A few things have changed in the 15 years of Tallassee Times. One is the addition of social media links to connect readers. Content is regularly shared through our Facebook and Twitter (now X) pages.

Here are some snippets from another 2008 article:

What Tallassee is known for

Tallassee, like the theme song to Cheers - "where everybody knows your name," is that kind of community.

When you tell someone you are from Tallassee, after explaining that this is not Tallahassee, do you still say we are an old mill town? How about that we are now an industrial city? I always give the geographic detail. We are halfway betweeen Montgomery and Auburn on the Tallapoosa River near Lake Martin.

Some say that Tallassee is home to the Hotel Talisi, which garners attention still. Hey, we are home to the Tallassee Tigers. The football team had a 57-game unbeaten streak in the 40's. The baseball team has won seven state championships. We have the world's smallest Walmart.

We do have a rich history that dates back to the Creek Indians. There is a Civil War heritage here. And, this was indeed a textile town with a mill village. "It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company," Wikpedia listed.

Two of the most tragic events of the past 15 years have been fires started by arsonists. In 2009, the Hotel Talisi was set ablaze. In 2016, the same thing happened to the Mount Vernon Mill on the east side of the Tallapoosa River.

Fast forward to 2023. The population is now 4,763 - slightly down from 4,934 in the early 2000s. It was not long after the above feature story ran that the Hotel Talisi burned. It has since been demolished. The former mill town also lost the east side mill that was once the longest continuously operating textile mill in the country.

Tallassee no longer has the 'world's smallest Walmart,' but it is still a bit small.

There are efforts to transform and restore properties like the one where the hotel stood downtown and where remnants of the mill still stand along the riverfront.

That leads us to what the next 15 years have in store. We look forward to the changes. The process of improving our town is already underway. We are excited to be able to tell Tallassee's story as it progresses. Thanks for reading.