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Pilgrimage focuses on Jewish heritage

DEMOPOLIS &045; This year’s Demopolis Pilgrimage will focus on the Jewish heritage of the area and feature landmarks that compliment the Hellman-Wyler Festival occurring at the same time.

The pilgrimage is a biennial event hosted by the Marengo County Historical Society that showcases historical landmarks of the area. This year the society decided to focus on the Jewish heritage of the area and its connection to Lillian Hellman to compliment the Hellman-Wyler Festival occurring the week prior to and weekend of the pilgrimage.

Stevens said the event, which the society puts on every other year, is a fund-raiser for the group. She said it is a good way to increase the awareness of the history of Demopolis as well.

The tour will go to over a dozen 19th and early 20th century sites like Lyon Hall, Gaineswood, which have ties to Wyler’s works, and the recently renovated Town Hall, as well as private residences and businesses.

The Jewish heritage and history sites, including those constructed by the family members of Lillian Hellman, will be part of the pilgrimage. Her great grandfather Isaac Marx is considered the first Jewish settler in Demopolis.

The Pilgrimage will also feature the First Methodist Church of Demopolis where Wyler’s ancestors dedicated a stained glass window, the Tallichet window, in 1896.

The two-day pilgrimage will be Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 11, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 per person and $5 for children under 12, and will be available each day of the event at Bluff Hall in Demopolis, 407 North Commissioners Avenue. For questions regarding this event, contact the Marengo County Historical Society at 334 289-9644.