The year is 1891. Cotton is the chief crop in southern Alabama, as it is in most of the South. Meanwhile in Texas, the Mexican boll weevil is busily migrating through the southern parts of the country. The boll weevil loves to eat cotton and leaves completely destroyed fields in its wake.
By 1915, the boll weevil has made it all the way to Coffee County, Alabama. The boll weevil tears through the the local cotton crops. Needless to say, the local economy is destroyed. However, one lone farmer is convinced to plant peanuts in his fields the next year instead of cotton. His peanut crop does so well that many other farmers take up peanuts in the following years as well. So, diversity of crops takes hold in Coffee County. Cotton remains important but there are other crops as well. The economy is not based on the success of just one plant.
The idea for the Boll Weevil Monument sprung from these events. It was constructed in 1919 at a personal cost of $3000. The monument honors the boll weevil for forcing the farmers to diversify their crops. It originally only consisted of the statue of a woman holding a fountain over her head. The boll weevil sitting in the fountain didn't appear until 1949.
Over the years, the bug has been stolen several times but has always been replaced. The entire statue has even been stolen before. Today, the Boll Weevil Monument stands proudly in downtown Enterprise, AL in the middle of a traffic circle. The woman still holds a fountain above her head but it is no longer operational. Instead, a boll weevil sits in the fountain. This monument is a major source of tourism to Enterprise. I recommend it!