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Faunsdale

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Faunsdale is located in northeastern Marengo County in the southwestern part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
Faunsdale was originally known as St. Michael's Parish after a log church built on land donated by Virginian Thomas Alexander Harrison. The log church was replaced with a Gothic Revival building in 1855. Indeed, the town owes much of its early history to Harrison, who in 1843 also established nearby Faunsdale Plantation, named for Faunus, Roman god of fields, forests, and cattle. Some of the best-preserved slave quarters in Alabama are on the grounds of the plantation. Harrison was killed in a buggy accident in 1858 and was the first person buried in the church's graveyard. A railroad line reached Faunsdale in 1861, connecting it to the nearby river-port towns of Selma, Dallas County, and Demopolis, and the citizens named the rail station in honor of the recently deceased Harrison's home.
The area became an important center of the cotton industry, with many other plantations being established in its vicinity. In 1850, Andrew Pickens Calhoun, son of U.S. vice president John C. Calhoun, built Cuba Plantation in the Faunsdale area. While secretary of war in the administration of Pres. James Monroe, the elder Calhoun had supervised a land grant to French colonial expatriates in nearby Demopolis, called the "Vine and Olive Colony" at the time.
St. Michael's was moved inside the town limits of Faunsdale in 1888 and destroyed by a tornado in 1932. It was replaced by the current building. The town is also home to the Cedarcrest Mennonite Church, which is the center of Faunsdale's Amish Mennonite community, one of only two such communities in the state, the other being located in Greensboro, Hale County. Faunsdale incorporated as a town in 1907.
Demographics
Faunsdale's population according to the 2010 Census was 98. Of that number, 67.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as white and 32.7 percent as African American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $41,250, and the per capita income was $19,859.
Employment
The workforce in present-day Faunsdale is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (45.5 percent)
· Construction (24.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (12.1   percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (9.1 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (9.1 percent)
Education
Students in Faunsdale attend Marengo County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
Transportation
State Highway 25 bisects Faunsdale running north-south, and Old State Route 80 runs east-west across the northern border of the town. The Norfolk Southern Corporation operates a rail line through Faunsdale.
Events and Places of Interest
Faunsdale hosts a Crawfish Festival each spring and the Faunsdale Bike Rally, for motorcycle enthusiasts, each spring and fall. The rally features live music, food vendors, camping, and a tattoo contest. Seven notable historic homes in the area surrounding Faunsdale were added to the National Register of Historic Places under the Plantation Houses of the Alabama Canebrake and Their Associated Outbuildings Multiple Property Submission, with a total of 17 homes being granted historic status in 1993-1994. The homes listed for Faunsdale were Altwood (ca. 1836); Cedar Crest (ca. 1850), Cedar Grove Plantation (ca. 1830 and 1848), Cedar Haven (ca. 1850), Cuba Plantation (ca. 1850), Faunsdale Plantation (ca. 1843), and Roseland Plantation (ca. 1835, 1850s). Altwood also is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Additional Resources
Marengo County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Marengo County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.
Published:  August 22, 2016   |   Last updated:  December 5, 2016