Fairhope, Alabama

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Fairhope, Alabama
Fairhope Public Library
Fairhope Public Library
Motto: "You've arrived"
Location in Baldwin County and the state of Alabama
Location in Baldwin County and the state of Alabama
Coordinates: 30°31′35″N 87°53′44″W / 30.52639°N 87.89556°W / 30.52639; -87.89556Coordinates: 30°31′35″N 87°53′44″W / 30.52639°N 87.89556°W / 30.52639; -87.89556
Country United States
State Alabama
County Baldwin
 • Type Municipality
 • Mayor Karin Wilson
 • Total 12.07 sq mi (31.27 km2)
 • Land 12.05 sq mi (31.22 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation 122 ft (37 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 15,326
 • Estimate (2016)[2] 19,421
 • Density 1,271/sq mi (490.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 36532-36533
Area code(s) 251
FIPS code 01-25240
GNIS feature ID 0118120
Website www.fairhopeal.gov

Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326.[3] Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.[4]


Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa.[5] Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:

"to establish and conduct a model community or colony, free from all forms of private monopoly, and to secure to its members therein equality of opportunity, the full reward of individual efforts, and the benefits of co-operation in matters of general concern."[6]

In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds.[citation needed] The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.[7]

"Fairhope Avenue" was one of the properties on the 1910 version of the board game The Landlord's Game, a precursor of Monopoly.[8]

In 1907 educator Marietta Johnson founded the School for Organic Education in Fairhope. The school was praised in John Dewey's influential 1915 book Schools of Tomorrow. Dewey and Johnson were founding members of the Progressive Education Association.

Fairhope became a popular wintering spot for artists and intellectuals. Sherwood Anderson, Wharton Esherick, Carl Zigrosser, and Upton Sinclair were among its notable visitors. [9]

Fountain at the Municipal Pier

The Fairhope Single-Tax Corporation still operates, with 1,800 leaseholds covering more than 4,000 acres (16 km2) in and around the current city of Fairhope. Despite the ideals of the corporation, the town has transitioned from utopian experiment to artists' and intellectuals' colony to boutique resort and affluent suburb of Mobile.[6]

For over 50 years, fishermen and residents of Fairhope have experienced the "jubilee" phenomenon. During a jubilee along the shores of Mobile Bay, some aquatic animals, including blue crabs, flounder, stingrays, and eels, come to the shallow water. At those times, it is possible to catch the fish, crabs, and other sea life near the water's edge.

The Weeks Bay Nature Reserve, located 10 miles (16 km) to the southeast, is known for the many oaks, wildlife and pitcher plants along the elevated walkways through the swamp forest.

The Bell Building on the Faulkner State Community College campus houses the Marietta Johnson Museum.[10] The Fairhope Museum of History is located downtown.


Fairhope is located on the shore of Mobile Bay. It is located 6 miles (10 km) south of Daphne and 10 miles (16 km) south of Spanish Fort. U.S. Route 98 (Greeno Road) runs north-south through the city.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.0 square miles (31.1 km2), of which 0.019 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.16%, is water.[3] Its elevation ranges from sea level at the bay to 122 feet (37 m) in the city center.[11]


Fairhope has a humid subtropical climate. It experiences hot, humid summers and generally mild winters, with average high temperatures ranging from 90 °F (31.7 C) in the summer to 59 °F (15 C) high during winter.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high
°F (°C)
59 (15) 63 (17) 70 (21) 77 (26) 83 (28) 89 (32) 90 (32) 89 (32) 87 (30) 79 (27) 70 (21) 62 (17) 76.4 (24.6)
Average low
°F (°C)
41 (5) 49 (9) 56 (13) 63 (17) 70 (21) 72 (22) 72 (22) 68 (20) 56 (13) 49 (9) 42 (5) 56.3 (13.5)
Average rainfall: inches/mm 5 /
65.1 /

Source: [2]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 590
1920 853 44.6%
1930 1,549 81.6%
1940 1,845 19.1%
1950 3,354 81.8%
1960 4,858 44.8%
1970 5,720 17.7%
1980 7,286 27.4%
1990 8,485 16.5%
2000 12,480 47.1%
2010 15,326 22.8%
Est. 2016 19,421 [2] 26.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
2013 Estimate[13]

As of the census of 2010, there were 15,326 people, 6,732 households, and 4,395 families residing in the city. Its population density was 1,271 per square mile (491/km2). There were 7,659 housing units at an average density of 634.5 per square mile (245.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.1% White, 6.2% Black, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. 2.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,732 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.84.

21.4% of the population was under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 28.5% from 45 to 64, and 23.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 86.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males. The median income for a household in the city was $56,157, and the median income for a family was $73,549. Males had a median income of $60,591 versus $36,218 for females. The per capita income for the city was $35,086. About 5.0% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.


Fairhope is governed by a mayor and five-person city council which was last elected in 2016. The mayor serves as the full-time city executive, while council members serve part-time.

Mayor: Karin Wilson


  • Jack Burrell
  • Jay Robinson
  • Jimmy Conyers
  • Robert Brown
  • Kevin Boone


Episcopal Church in Fairhope, Alabama

Local and national real estate developers have built commercial facilities in the downtown area that are larger than have been historically allowed.[14]

Fairhope's building and zoning ordinances overlap with those of Baldwin County. Residents of the city want more control of construction projects near, but still outside the city limits, while residents outside the city limits want less city control of their property.[15]


Fairhope's public schools are part of the Baldwin County Public Schools system.

  • Fairhope High School (9-12), 1,142 students, Principal Jon Cardwell.[16] Fairhope High School is located in the southernmost part of Fairhope. It is estimated that 39% of the city of Fairhope's high school age students attend Daphne High School that is north of Fairhope.
  • Fairhope Middle School (7-8), 642 students, Principal Angie Hall.
  • J. Larry Newton School (K-6), 731 students, Principal Patrice Krueger. (In Barnwell, AL)
  • Fairhope Intermediate School (4-6), 397 students, Principal Carol Broughton
  • Fairhope Elementary School (K-3), 278 students, Principal Julie Pierce.

Other schools in Fairhope include:

  • The Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education continues to operate as a private school with approximately 51 students as of July 2007. The school offers education to life groups that traditionally span 1st through 8th grades.
  • St. Michael Catholic High School--Baldwin County, Al--Beginning in 2016 with grades 9-10, adding a grade each year thereafter for a total enrollment between 360-400.
  • Faulkner State Community College has a campus in Fairhope that provides adult education, undergraduate courses, non-credit and community service programs.
  • The University of South Alabama has a branch campus in Fairhope providing graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses in education, counseling, nursing and business alongside non-credit and community service programs.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Fairhope city, Alabama". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ Lucy Berry (February 23, 2016). "2 Alabama cities among Southern Living's 2016 Best Small Towns in the South". Press-Register. Retrieved Feb 2, 2017. 
  5. ^ http://www.fairhopesingletax.com/fhistory2009.html
  6. ^ a b http://www.fairhopesingletax.com/
  7. ^ http://www.fairhopesingletax.com/faq2009.html
  8. ^ http://landlordsgame.info/games/lg-1906/lg-1906_egc-rules.html
  9. ^ Lauren Coodley. (2013) Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. 2013
  10. ^ "Fairhope Campus" Faulkner State Community College, June 28, 2006, webpage: [1].
  11. ^ Census Gazetteer, 2010, webpage: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-25. .
  12. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ History of Fairhope 1954-present Mobile: Putman, 2006
  15. ^ Knight, Paul (2007-06-29). "Residents call for increased accountability". Mobile Register (Mobile) (newspaper). Advance Publications. p. Baldwin Register, 01. 
  16. ^ http://www.fairhopehs.com/?PageName='PrincipalsCorner'
  17. ^ "Harold William (Bill) Varney". Press-Register. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "For Thompson Square, Nashville is Work and Fairhope is Home". The Southern Rambler. Retrieved 2 Feb 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dian Arnold. (1999) "Fairhope: A Sentimental Review." link
  • Paul E. and Blanche R. Alyea. (1956) "Fairhope, 1894-1954: The Story of a Single Tax Colony." Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
  • Paul M. Gaston. (1984) Women of Fair Hope. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. Black Belt Press, 1993.
  • Paul M. Gaston. (1993) Man and Mission: E. B. Gaston and the Origins of the Fairhope Single Tax Colony. Montgomery, Alabama: Black Belt Press.
  • Paul M. Gaston (2010) "Coming of Age in Utopia: The Odyssey of an Idea." Montgomery and Louisville: NewSouth Books.
  • Paul M. Gaston. (2004) "My Yellow Ribbon Town: A Meditation on My Country and My Home." in Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent. Montgomery, Alabama: New South Books. link
  • Paul M. Gaston. (1985) "Gaston, Ernest Berry." in "Alden Whitman, ed., "American Reformers. New York: The H.W. Wilson Co.
  • Mary Lois Timbes and Robert E. Bell. (2001) "Meet Me at the Butterfly Tree: A Fairhope Memoir." Fairhope: Over the Transom.
  • Cathy Donelson, foreword by Fannie Flagg. (2005) "Fairhope." Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing.
  • Cathy Donelson. (2013) "Fairhope in the Roaring Twenties." Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing.

External links[edit]