During the first half of the 19th century, Huntsville, Alabama grew from a single settler’s homestead into a thriving economic center. The first major railroad from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River was built with a right-of-way through Huntsville, meaning the city was granted a major economic opportunity. Like most southern population centers, Huntsville Alabama real estate has had its share of problems during the Civil War – but the stationing of Union soldiers in Huntsville meant that the city avoided being burned and thus still retains some of its early historic buildings and landmarks.
In the time after the Civil War, Huntsville grew prosperous as a major center for cotton textile mills. The city was perfectly situated close to the raw materials (straight from the cotton fields of the South) and with many viable options for shipping completed products (via the railroad and rivers). Early cotton mills served as communities in and of themselves, with schools, stores, churches, housing, and entertainment in the mill area. Early Huntsville real estate, then, was often connected to a person’s employer: you lived near the mill where you and your family worked.
Due to the prevalence of the mill industry in Huntsville’s early growth, the city suffered significantly during the Depression of the 1930s. Industry slowed, and Huntsville entered 1940 with a modest population of just over 13,000 inhabitants. Huntsville’s economic stability, however, received a boost with the onset of World War II, when the U.S. Army chose Huntsville as the site of its new Redstone Arsenal. Today, the Redstone Arsenal remains a major employer and prominent force in the town: many residents of the Huntsville real estate area are in some way connected with the Army and the arsenal, and the arsenal in turn takes an active role in the community’s civic life. The Army has also partnered with the city of Huntsville to create one of the nation’s most complete disaster preparedness plans.
Today, Huntsville is also well known as the home of a major NASA facility. Across the nation, Huntsville Alabama real estate is known for its proximity to some of the most exciting advances in NASA technology. The community also benefits tremendously from the influx of NASA employees into the community: these trained and highly educated professionals greatly enrich the community at large. Putting down roots in the Huntsville real estate market, then, is a smart choice: families in Huntsville enjoy tremendous economic, educational, and cultural opportunities.