23 May 2007

The Boll Weevil

Ok, just Southwest of Fort Rucker, lies the city of Enterprise, Alabama. This city gets its fame from having the only monument in the world to an agricultural pest: The Boll Weevil Monument. (Seen above.) The following excert is from Wikipedia: "The citizens of Enterprise, Alabama erected a monument to the boll weevil. It was, and still is, the only monument to an agricultural pest. The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) was indigenous to Mexico but appeared in Alabama in 1915. By 1918 farmers were losing whole cotton crops to the beetle. H. M. Sessions saw this as an opportunity to convert the area to peanut farming. In 1916 he convinced C. W. Baston, an indebted farmer, to back his venture. The first crop paid off their debts and was bought by farmers seeking to change to peanut farming. Cotton was grown again, but farmers learned to diversify their crops, a practice which brought new money to Coffee County. Bon Fleming, a local businessman, came up with the idea to build the monument, and helped to finance the total cost. As a tribute to how something disastrous can be a catalyst to change, the monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919 at the intersection of College and Main Street, the heart of the town's business district. The original statue of a woman wearing a flowing gown, arms stretched above her head, was built in Italy for approximately $1,800, not including the fountain and boll weevil. The boll weevil was not added until thirty years later, when Luther Baker thought the Boll Weevil Monument should have a boll weevil on it. He made the boll weevil and attached it to the top of the fountain that was no longer in use. The monument stands more than thirteen feet tall. The boll weevil, and sometimes even the entire monument, has been stolen many times through out the years and each time was found and repaired by the city of Enterprise until July 11, 1998. On that day vandals ripped the boll weevil out of the statue's hands and permanently damaged the statue. City leaders were going to repair the original statue and put it back but it proved too difficult and costly. The replica still stands in downtown Enterprise, and the original is on display at Enterprise’s Depot Museum. There is a security camera nearby that monitors for further vandalism."

Coffee county courthouse

The Enterprise Depot, now a strange hodge podge of a museum, has a fascinating collection of random items, more resembling an old attic than a traditional museum.
An old washer/dryer set

An old pistol, minnie ball and ball mold
Left: old bottles, below: Old radios

An old addressing machine
Below: A carriage

The first church in Enterprise

Confederate monument

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