ELSANOR -- Sunday, June 23 was predicted to be a scorching hot day, but that did not hamper the spirits of residents of the Elsanor community along with others from Baldwin County interested in celebrating “Alabama 200.”
The people gathered at Elsanor Community Center for the unveiling of the bronze historical marker sponsored by the Baldwin County Commission and the Baldwin County Historical Development Commission.
Attending the event was County Commissioner Billie Jo Underwood: Claudia Campbell, who headed up the program and is currently the president of the Historical Development Commission, Coletta Bailey, president of the Baldwin County Historical Society; Bailey’s husband, Bob, and Judge of Probate Harry D’Olive Jr.
Carol Merchant, president of Elsanor Community Center welcomed those in attendance and also led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Natasha Beverly Pratt then sang a beautiful rendition of the National Athem before Merchant introduced the other officers, Brenda Rabren, Bobbie Beverly and Jodi Bedsole who so graciously helped organize the meeting and provided refreshments. She also recognized Jeanette Dyess Ryan who applied for the marker and worked with Claudia Campbell concerning the wording of early history for the past two years.
After Campbell spoke about the upcoming culmination of Celebrating an Alabama 200 event in December, Merchant and Bedsole read the history of Elsanor from the program. There was a time of discussion as the audience remembered the names of early settlers of the community.
In 1909, F. X. Duchensneau and other French Canadians moved to Elsanor to escape the frigid northern winters. He was later joined by his friend, G. Ecoeur, the Riendeaus, the LaBissonieres, the Casavants and others.
Ed Kane III, who is the great-grandson of the LaBissonieres, early French Canadians, has carried on the farming tradition like his great-grandparents. Also attending were Virginia Boseck, who married Carl Boseck Jr., the son of early residents Carl and Bertha Boseck, and their daughter, Carla Boseck Givens and her husband, Charles.
When the program concluded the group exited to the front of the Center for the unveiling of the bronze historical marker. Others watched from a window in the building. It was a beautiful occasion as everyone stood under a deep blue azure sky. As white clouds rolled overhead they gazed upon a historic marker placed by a country roadside. It made a flawless hot day in June complete. Refreshments were then served by the officers and door prizes of Ryan’s books were won by Shasta Brill Frederic, Owen Kane and Emily Hobbs. It was a time of neighbors and friends getting together and a memorable day when we learned about the history and beginning of Elsanor.