Brundidge historical marker recognizes peanut butter heritage

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Creek Indians believed the Chattahoochee River region was inhabited by a giant Tie-Snake, a mythical monster that snared a mythical monster that snared the unwary and dragged them down into the watery underworld.

The Tie-Snake was  among the myths and folk tales of the native people of the river region.

Other folk tales of note were those collected by W.O. Tuggle including the Trickster Rabbit and the Tarbaby. Joel Chandler Harris read Tuggle’s collection and fashioned the Uncle Remus stories.

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This bit of information is preserved on the Alabama Historical Marker on the Phenix City Riverwalk and is one of the 13 Historical Markers that are cited by as “Thirteen Completely  Random Facts You Can Learn from Alabama’s Historical Markers.”

Among the 13 markers is the Brundidge historical marker which highlights the city’s proud history in the peanut butter industry that dates back to 1928 when J.D. Johnston began making peanut butter for commercial use.

At its height, more than two million jars of peanut butter were shipped out of the small South Alabama town each year.

The Johnston and Louis-Anne peanut butter mills help sustain  the town during the Great Depression. Peanut butter continued to be made in Brundidge until the late 1950s. Today, the  town celebrates the town’s proud history in the peanut butter industry with the annual Peanut Butter Festival the last Saturday in October.

Lawrence Bowden, president of the Brundidge Historical Society,  sponsor of the Peanut Butter   Festival, said the marker is on the grounds of the historical Bass House, which is the site of the annual Peanut Butter Festival.

“These Alabama historical markers are important to towns and cities of all sizes and to Alabama as a whole, especially this year when we are celebrating our state’s 200th anniversary,” Bowden said. “The markers highlight important places, people and events in Alabama’s history for now and in years to come.”

Bowden said the 13 sites on are incentives for Alabamians and visitors to the state to visit those sites and also be more aware of the historical signs as opportunities to know more about the great state of Alabama.

“It’s interesting that the Peanut Butter Festival in Brundidge is mentioned right along with Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid, and Frank and Jesse James,” Bowden said.

Other markers highlighted in random facts included the Pickens County Courthouse famous for the face in the courthouse window, the old plank road in Prattville and the town of Verbena, which is the only town in the United States with  that name.    

Florence highlights the Dred Scott Decision and most people will find it interesting that the telegram that began the Civil War was sent from Montgomery. That marker is on Dexter Avenue.

Other names of note that appear on Alabama’s Historical Markers include Napoleon Bonaparte in Demopolis, Nat King Cole in Montgomery and Paul Harvey in Gadsden. 

And there is a “Sweet Home, Alabama. It’s in the Bessemer area. Just ask the undertaker.

Bowden said Alabama’s Historical Markers are important in preserving and promoting Alabama’s history.

“When you see a marker, stop for just a minute and read it,” he said. “If you don’t, you’ll miss a random fact that will enlighten you about Alabama – its places, its people and its stories.

Editor’s note: Those who have random and little known facts and stories about Pike County, its people and places, contact 334-670-6302.