The History of the Fairhope Public Library
Ernest B. Gaston (1861-1937) once said that Fairhope and the Single Tax Colony had essentially been a poor man's effort. Gaston was certainly referring to physical or material wealth. The fact cannot be denied that the community of Fairhope from the very beginning attracted individuals of the highest intellectual and spiritual wealth and character. Fairhope has fostered an atmosphere of idealistic equality and democracy which, let us hope, will always be one of Fairhope's charms.
Less than six months after the first pioneer Single Tax families began grubbing out homesteads from the harsh environment on the Fairhope site, a Single Tax friend, George B. Lang of Seneca, Missouri, donated a collection of books for the "Fairhope Free Library." This basic library material brought pleasure and relaxation to the hardy settlers after days of toil and during rainy periods when work outside was not possible.
We can be very proud that our little town has had access from the very beginning to a collection of books and other reading material to keep its citizenry informed. The Single Taxers envisioned the formation of a public library in Fairhope even before they came to "Stapleton's Pasture" on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.
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