While he was still a young man working on the Mississippi River, Thomas Sellers met Samuel B. Clemens, who later became the famous writer Mark Twain. Sellers and Clemens shared a warm, long-lasting friendship. Sellers adopted the title “Colonel” from one of Twain’s fictitious characters, Colonel Mulberry. Clemens was a frequent visitor at the Sellers plantation.
Alice Plantation in Ama was purchased in 1893 by Thomas J. “Colonel Mulberry” Sellers and named for his daughter, Alice Augusta Sellers. Alice Plantation had a massive front gallery, sixty feet in length with roll-down canvas shades to create an additional room in inclement weather. With forethought, and past experiences with plantation disasters, Sellers and his sons built Sellers Canal as a shortcut through the marsh to Grand Isle. The canal was particularly useful when the Hymelia Crevasse struck in 1912. Sellers and his family rode to safety via the canal. Alice Plantation was relocated once to avoid the encroaching river, but in 1938 a mysterious fire razed the old place. St. Charles Airport now occupies the Alice Plantation site. Many family members served in office in such positions as superintendent of public schools, assessor, and sheriff. The “Colonel” died at Alice Plantation in 1915 and is buried in the Red Church Cemetery in Destrehan. (Photo courtesy of the St. Charles Herald)