Vine & Olive about the Vine & Olive

Published 6:33 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, the Demopolis Times announced its newest publication, “Vine & Olive Living”.

The new quarterly magazine will launch later this summer and will be a slick and shiny page-turner we hope you all enjoy and look forward to.

The name of the magazine was an easy choice.

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Demopolis is rich in history. A leisurely drive through downtown will reveal a host of roads and avenues named after early settlers.

The Vine and Olive Colony was an effort started by the French Emigrant Association, made up of high ranking officials and followers of Napoleon fearing for their lives after the restoration of Louis XVIII to the French throne.

These settlers eventually made their way to the confluence of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers. In March of 1817, Congress approved an act that granted them four contiguous townships totaling 92,160 acres of land for the price of $2 per acre on the condition that they cultivate grapes and olives.

That’s where Vine and Olive comes into play. Clever, huh?

Back in the early 1800’s, farmers didn’t have the resources they do today. Kathryn Friday and the Marengo County Extension Office were hardly open for business.

Had they been, things might have turned out remarkably different for our French forefathers. It didn’t take long before the French settlers found out the hard way that grapes and olives wouldn’t grow in Demopolis, Alabama.

The colony eventually collapsed and Demopolis remains the only original settlement to survive today.

History, whether it’s French, American or both, should be celebrated and honored.

I believe the magazine will be an appropriate way to celebrate and honor our heritage while also celebrating the current inhabitants of the Vine and Olive Colony. I look forward to seeing the first issue and hope you will be pleased with it. I owe a great deal of personal thanks to Suzanne Young and the Mustard Seed and Dondi Rohr and Vowell’s who each went out of their way to make our formal announcement a special event.

Also, thanks to the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and its membership for their support.

Jason Cannon is the publisher of The Demopolis Times.