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Fairhope, Alabama
Downtown Fairhope
Downtown Fairhope
"You've arrived"
Location in Baldwin County, Alabama
Location in Baldwin County, Alabama
Country United States
State Alabama
County Baldwin
 • Type Municipality
 • Total 14.53 sq mi (37.64 km2)
 • Land 14.47 sq mi (37.49 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.14 km2)
122 ft (37 m)
 • Total 22,477
 • Density 1,552.82/sq mi (599.53/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 251
FIPS code 01-25240
GNIS feature ID 0118120

Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, located on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2020 Census lists the population of the city as 22,477. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley metropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County.


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. 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."

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. 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.

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

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.

Fairhope Municipal Pier Fountain
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.

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. 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. Its elevation ranges from sea level at the bay to 122 feet (37 m) in the city center.


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: [1]


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%
2020 22,477 46.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Fairhope racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 19,456 86.56%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,083 4.82%
Native American 60 0.27%
Asian 203 0.9%
Pacific Islander 20 0.09%
Other/Mixed 791 3.52%
Hispanic or Latino 864 3.84%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 22,477 people, 7,790 households, and 5,606 families residing in the city.

2010 census

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 $66,157, and the median income for a family was $93,549. 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's public schools are part of the Baldwin County Public Schools system:

  • Fairhope High School (9–12) – 1,142 students, Principal Jon Cardwell. 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, (Barnwell, Alabama)
  • Fairhope Intermediate School (4–6) – 397 students, Princial
  • Fairhope Elementary School (K–3) – 278 students, Principal

Other schools in Fairhope include:

  • The Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education – continues to operate as a private school with approximately 20 students as of 2017. The school offers education to life groups that traditionally span 1st through 8th grades.
  • St. Michael Catholic High School – beginning in 2016 with grades 9–10, adding a grade each year thereafter for a total enrollment between 360–400
  • Bayshore Christian School – beginning in 2002 with Kindergarten, adding a grade each year thereafter, currently offering PreK-12th grade for a total enrollment between 440–480
  • 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

  • Maude Ballou, Civil Rights activist
  • Pinky Bass, photographer
  • Bob Baumhower, football player and businessman
  • Rick Bragg, writer
  • Jimmy Buffett, singer and songwriter
  • Grayson Capps, singer songwriter
  • Eugenia S. Chapman, educator and Illinois state representative
  • Dave Edwards, musician
  • Grant Enfinger, professional race car driver
  • Fannie Flagg, (Patricia Neal) author and actress
  • Abbi Glines, writer
  • Winston Groom, novelist (Forrest Gump)
  • Fred Nall Hollis (Nall), artist
  • Marie Howland, 19th Century utopian and journalist
  • Marietta Johnson, educator and reformer
  • David King, former NFL defensive back
  • Leon Lett, football player
  • Dean Mosher, artist, author, and historian
  • George M. Murray, bishop in the Episcopal Church
  • Burton Ritchie, entrepreneur
  • Janie Shores, Alabama Supreme Court justice
  • Eddie Stanky, Former Major League Baseball player and manager
  • Dave Stapleton, former baseball player
  • Thompson Square, country music duo
  • Bill Varney, film sound editor
  • Bob Weltlich, former college basketball coach

See also

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