Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Boll Weevil Monument - Enterprise, Alabama

It has come to my attention that I have yet to post a single postcard from Alabama, and I seem to have quite a few, so there's really no explanation.  These views are from a postcard folder, circa 1950.

The postcard above shows the Boll Weevil Monument, but the one below has a close-up. Why would the folks in Enterprise build a monument to the pest that nearly wiped out their cotton crops? It's an interesting story.  Since they were losing their cotton crops to the vermin, a man named H.M. Sessions suggested that they plant peanuts instead. The peanut crop did well and they all prospered. They even grew cotton again, but they learned to diversify so their whole crop could not be wiped out by one insect. Instead of blaming that initial pest, the boll weevil, they credited it with providing the inspiration to innovate, and built a monument in its honor.

The original Boll Weevil Monument did not include a boll weevil at all; that was added to the top of the statue years later. Sadly, the statue (built in Italy) has been stolen and vandalized numerous times, so the original is now stored in the Enterprise Depot Museum. The one that stands in place of the original is a polymer-resin replica.


  1. Ode to the boll weevil. I love it! It would creep me out to look at it every day, but then again, I guess you get used to it.

  2. Very interesting post. Thanks!

  3. Nice postcards and great monument....illuminated no less! Too bad that people have to vandalize public property. Say, punishment might work!

  4. The Alabamans got it all wrong. Instead of the insect, they should have honored Mr.H.M.Sessions!!!
    Say it ain't so.

  5. I'd heard of the boll weevil and its effect on cotton but would never have suspected that it would have been so honoured. Very interesting story behind the card.

  6. Dorin brings up a good point. I also wondered why they didn't honor H.M. Sessions. Is it possible that people didn't like him? Was he just a humble man who refused to be honored? I think it's safe to say though that a statue with a boll weevil is more interesting than a statue of a man. I wonder if enterprise has boll weevil festivals and if children dress up as boll weevils for Halloween. There are some great marketing opportunities there.

  7. Der Ort heißt tatsächlich Enterprise?
    Das ist ja großartig!
    Erinnerm mich an Captain Kirk.
    Schade das es diesen Hübschen Brunnen nicht mehr gibt.
    Ob Enterprise nun immer noch die hübscheste kleine Stadt in Alabama ist?
    liebe Grüße

  8. That's a boll weevil, there on the lady's dish above her head? Enormous! They could have used the boll weevil as a food source.

  9. Better yet: Sessions "wrestling" with the weevil! Epic statue! That would have put the city on the tourism map.
    Tourist trap.

  10. I can envision an international artists' competition to design the new monument. Enterprise needs our marketing expertise.

  11. You'd have to have a pretty strong back to try to haul off a monument that size. I've got to tip my hat to their efforts. At least they still have the original of this crazy memorable in the museum. Thanks for sharing the unique background story.

  12. IF you ever come across a cockroach monument, let me know:) When I hear boll weevil, I think of that old song ...."Just lookin' for a home..."



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