Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Fairhope History Tidbits: The Founding Fathers

Fairhope has one of the most unique and interesting stories regarding it's beginning. The founding fathers who created this utopia still influence our town a century later too, with their love of art, music, and food. Although the information about Fairhope's founding can be found easily, most folks around here still don't know the facts. I will sum it up for you.

In the year 1890, a group of well read socialists decided to set off from Iowa to a new, more hotter home. I don't blame them either. I don't even know what there is to do in Iowa in 2018, let alone 1890. These people, led by a free thinker named Henry George, wanted to be free from American Capitalism, so they packed up all of their belongings into a Mercedez utility van and headed to the deep south. They planned on making it all the way to the ocean, but the last leg of the journey saw their van get a flat tire, so they settled down right near Mobile. 

These days people like to throw the term "Socialist" around at any politician with a "D" beside their name, but Henry George was the real deal. He gathered up the funds and purchased many plots of land to spread out among the people and claimed that no person shall ever own this land. It had to be rented out in 99 year increments (this was back when people lived to be 200 years old on average). This new opportunity for each person would make everyone more equal and give the settlers A Fair Hope... (get it?). (Okay, if you didn't get it he put the words Fair and Hope together to make the name of the town Fairhope.).

At around the same time another free radical settled in for a fair hope of changing the world. Her name was Marietta Johnson. She had been visited in her dreams the previous year by what she described as an alien supernatural force. The visitor proclaimed that their kind would soon visit earth to harvest human minds and emotions. In exchange for creating a program to enhance minds "organically", the beings would spare her. Soon after, the Organic School of Education was developed to enrich the minds of free thinking children. Even now we are learning the value of organics in our food as well, so it must be true. Her unusual methods of teaching, such as having the kids pray to Lord Zorlarx, and learning to devour the souls of armadillos was thought to be groundbreaking at the time.

Since the 1800's our town has been the home to hundreds of artists, musicians, and other people who couldn't pass a drug test, which is why we love our special little community. We honor this tradition with many great music and art festivals, and even still abide by the Single Tax Colony rules that started the town. I'd say some of the greatest minds in the country are being developed here, which is why when Lord Zorlarx comes, I'm heading straight to Iowa.

1 comment:

  1. I love this story, being from Iowa myself. There may not be a large body of water in Iowa but we do have plenty of lakes and rivers. Us Iowa folks are a mild bunch. Fairhope is a special place for sure. Keep up the fine work.
    Rusty Knapp


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