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Demopolis, Alabama (City of the People)

Demopolis is located at the confluence of the Tombigbee River and Black Warrior River atop a chalk cliff, known locally as White Bluff. The settlement was founded and named by a group of political exiles who had been banished from France following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte.  This group reached White Bluff on July 14, 1817 with the intention of establishing the “Vine and Olive Colony”.  This was an unsuccessful venture to develop an agricultural settlement that grew wine grapes and olive trees.  These French settlers named their settlement Demopolis which is a Greek word that means the “People’s City” or “City of the People”.

Today, Demopolis is the largest city in Marengo County – population 7540 according to the 2000 census.  It is located on beautiful Demopolis Lake which is the largest lake in the Black Warrior-Tombigbee system. The lake extends 48 miles upriver on the Black Warrior, 53 miles up the Tombigbee and covers 10,000 acres.  There is a beautiful U. S. Army Corp of Engineers’ campground and a large, full service yacht marina located on the lake in Demopolis.

Demopolis is one of the most historic towns in the Alabama Black Belt. It has eleven individual properties and one historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and thirteen properties listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage (ARLH). These listings include historic homes, churches, businesses and a beautiful one square block park that is one of the oldest parks in Alabama. Demopolis, AL also has a long theater tradition.

Shown is the 1895 cast iron fountain located in the Demopolis Public Square. Click here for additional pictures. Brief details are provided for each picture.

 

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White Bluff at Demopolis, AL (listed on the NRHP)

White Bluff, also known as Ecor Blanc, is a historic site located along the Tombigbee River in Demopolis, AL.  It is a chalk cliff, roughly one mile long, that is composed of a geological layer known as the Demopolis Chalk Formation, part of the Selma Group. The upper portions of the cliff stood almost 80 […]

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Old Demopolis Public School at Demopolis, AL (built 1913-1914, listed on the NRHP, now home of the Canebrake Players)

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