cover of book

Fairhope, 1894–1954: The Story of a Single Tax Colony
by Paul E. Alyea and Blanche R. Alyea
introduction by Tennant McWilliams
University of Alabama Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-0-8173-9404-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-2127-7
Library of Congress Classification HD1313.A63 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 330.10976121

The remarkable and improbable story of the utopian single-tax social experiment that gave rise to one of the most unique and colorful communities along the Gulf Coast
On November 15, 1894, a small group of men and women met on a remote stretch of Mobile Bay’s eastern shore to establish a colony. It was a decidedly utopian undertaking in a period characterized by many similar social experiments and ideal communities, most of them failures. This group, which gathered at “Stapleton’s pasture” to found Fairhope, hoped to demonstrate the benefits of the single tax as a means of curing social and economic evils, making a practical test of the doctrines of economist Henry George.
Today, the wealth of parks, public and private schools, art galleries, and restaurants, combined with quaint shops and residential areas and a vibrant nautical life, all attest to Fairhope’s unique position among many older communities in the same region. Its residents represent a diverse array of interests and talents, and with a strong civic regard for individualism and creativity, Fairhope is also a haven for painters, potters, writers, and musicians.
Paul E. and Blanche R. Alyea’s Fairhope, 1894–1954, first published in 1954, is the history of this unique and improbable community and the single-tax social experiment that gave rise to it. This new edition offers an introduction by historian and Fairhope resident Tennant McWilliams, giving invaluable context and entertaining anecdotes not just regarding Fairhope’s founding but about the Alyeas themselves—all to the abiding value of their story for today’s residents and visitors.

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