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City of Enterprise pays tribute to Carver’s legacy with Centennial Memorial dedication

March 11, 2020

Enterprise’s civic and municipal leaders dedicate the Centennial Memorial on Feb. 29; photo courtesy of City of Enterprise
Enterprise’s civic and municipal leaders dedicate the Centennial Memorial on Feb. 29; photo courtesy of City of Enterprise

Contact: Kay Kirkland, City of Enterprise

On Feb. 29, the City of Enterprise, Alabama, paid tribute to famed Tuskegee University researcher Dr. George Washington Carver with the dedication of the Boll Weevil Centennial Memorial Marker in Downtown Enterprise.

The dedication ceremony celebrated the placement of the Centennial Memorial Marker — first unveiled on Dec. 11, 2019, at the city’s Centennial Ceremony — at its permanent home on West College Street.

Along with Carver, the marker pays tribute to Enterprise banker H.M. Sessions and Coffee County Extension Agent John Pittman — all three of whom played major roles in establishing peanuts as the region’s new cash crop in 1917 and 1918 after the boll weevil destroyed cotton crops in 1915 and 1916.

Also honored on the marker is Bon Fleming, a prominent Enterprise merchant who came up with the idea of establishing a monument to honor the pest that forced peanut production, crop rotation and economic diversification on the community, and thus, saved Enterprise.

The marker was a project of the City of Enterprise and the Centennial Committee, which organized and implemented a year of celebrations culminating with 100th anniversary commemoration events Dec. 11.

© 2020, Tuskegee University; the City of Enterprise contributed to this reporting