51st Annual Calico Fort Arts and Crafts Fair
April 15,16, 2023

About Us

A Dream Come True

Calico Fort began as a dream by a group of local citizens who desired to promote our small town, to create an interest which would draw visitors, and develop an outstanding Arts and Crafts festival. A number of possible themes were considered but, considering our historical background, Calico Fort was selected.

A life long resident of Fort Deposit wrote the poem Calico Capers in anticipation of its success.

One of the local citizens volunteered the use of a pine thicket on her property for the show. And the work began, everyone was invited to help clear the brier bushes, the kudzu vines, limbs, pine cones and debris. A fence, reminiscent of an old fort and an Indian teepee were constructed, along with an assortment of rustic buildings to be used for the food concessions and even some exhibitors.

155 exhibitors accepted our invitation to be part of the first Calico Fort on April 8 and 9, 1972. The Bill Board, on the left, depicts the advertisement which was displayed that year. This sign, near the I-65 Exit, is updated each fall in an effort to help our visitors plan for the next event.

An estimated 5000 visitors responded that first year with enthusiasm to the invitation to enjoy an old time country fair complete with demonstrations and illustrations to amuse visitors, whether a toddler, teen or old time fair lover.
The first show included a variety of arts, handmade crafts and antiques. Demonstrations delighting the fair-goers included a glass blower and a weaver who operated her loom. Ceramics, candles and jewelry were made on the spot and portraits were sketched for those who were just a little patient.

The Calico Committee

Calico Fort has become a favorite with exhibitors and visitors alike, primarily because every effort is made, not only by the Committee, but all the town\'s citizens, to create a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Fort Deposit Arts Council

The Fort Deposit Arts and Activities was created in 1970 by the Mayor and a group of interested citizens to help promote the love and knowledge of arts and its related fields in Fort Deposit and the surrounding area.

In its early years, the Committee sponsored numerous events which drew large audiences, particularly for a town of only 1500. But as well as the events were attended there was never enough income to fund them. The Calico Fort Arts and Crafts Fair was begun as a means of financing the events and as an additional promotion of the arts and crafts.

A History of Fort Deposit

Fort Deposit was estabished by General Ferdinand J. Claiborne in 1813 under orders from General Andrew Jackson. The Fort was to be used as a supply depot during the Creek Indian War, and served as a base of operations when General Claiborne engaged the Creeks at the Battle of the Holy Ground. After the defeat of the Creek Indians at the Holy Grounds, General Claiborne continued to maintain this post until all hostilities with the Creeks had ceased.

As a strategic location, the Jackson Military Road connected this post with other camps and forts throughout this area. The settlers from the surrounding country often used the Fort as a refuge and for protection from the Indians. Slowly, the Fort grew into a small town: the Town of Fort Deposit.

The site of the current town, and the name were established about six years before Alabama was admitted to the Union as a State. On February 13, 1891, the town was incorporated by the legislature with five councilmen and a mayor.

There remains, to this day, evidence of the old fort. There still exists round cells, complete with brick covers and brick walls which extend into the ground. These were used as the ammunition dump for the fort.

As additional evidence of the old fort are the tremendous cannon balls which have been found when some sites were excavated. And of course, even today, there are arrow heads to be found, even though they are fewer and farther between than in years past. And there have been finds of Indian pottery - some still intact - in the area. Perhaps the leavings of the Muscogees who were once encamped in the area.

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Sponsored by the Fort Deposit Arts Council : Fort Deposit, Alabama
Copyright © 2023 - Fort Deposit Arts Council : P.O. Box 17, Fort Deposit, AL 36032