Left to right, back row: Rep. Corey “Turkey” Harbison, “Count” Mayor Jerry Bartlett, Councilwoman Susan “Hippie Chick” Eller, Councilman Maxie “Cowboy” Jones and Deputy Eric Robertson; left to right, front row: Harper Salisbury, Anna Salisbury, Destiny Siegel and Lilliana Siegel take part in Good Hope’s Halloween costume contest on Oct. 31, 2018. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)
This profile was part of The Cullman Tribune's special "Community Matters" section on March 19, 2019.
GOOD HOPE, Ala. – Good Hope became a township in 1862 and was incorporated in 1962. The city’s first mayor was Herman Reid and the council met in houses or William’s Grocery until the town hall was built in 1969. Good Hope was a farming and mining community and has always been known for its superior sweet potatoes.
Today, Jerry Bartlett is Good Hope’s mayor. He is a retired educator and coach.
Good Hope Parks and Recreation Director Dana Dunagan joked, “One of the best things about our city is we have the best drivers. Mayor Bartlett was everybody’s drivers ed teacher.”
Bartlett taught at both Cold Springs and Good Hope High Schools.
Bartlett is very proud of Good Hope and continues to think of ways the city can improve the lives of those in the community.
He said, “Good Hope is a great place to live. It’s clean and there’s no crime.”
He credits Dunagan for always making sure the city looks beautiful.
City Clerk Christie Chamblee added, “When you drive into Good Hope from Cullman, you’ll notice the grass is always trimmed and it looks so beautiful. That’s because of Dana.”
Bartlett and city officials make it a priority to help the schools as much as possible. Good Hope Primary School, Good Hope Middle School and Good Hope High School are the pride and joy of Good Hope. The city throws a Back to School Bash and many community events throughout the year to show its commitment to the students and everyone in Good Hope. Bartlett is especially proud of the free community Thanksgiving meal each year.
Good Hope has several restaurants and businesses including The Cotton Gin Seafood Joint. The cotton gin was moved to Good Hope in the 1970s from Cullman. It was originally located where Rally’s is today. Other iconic businesses are Jack's Western & Outdoor Wear and Jack’s Truck Stop.
The Jack’s Restaurant closed a few years back, but Judy Allred is proud of her many years working at the popular stop, saying, “We just wanted to give the truckers our support and take care of them. It was important for them to feel appreciated when they stopped in Good Hope. We had many celebrities stop in. Conway Twitty was my friend. He always stopped in Good Hope when passing through.”
Jack's Western & Outdoor Wear was originally attached to the restaurant but moved to its current location several years ago. It’s a popular stop for locals and travelers. Billy Byrd works at Jack’s and has lived in Good Hope his entire life. According to Byrd it’s the, “nice families, good people and a friendly welcome” that make Good Hope a great place to work and proudly call home.
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