Fairhope Summer Entertaining

Unwind with a 1915 summer night's entertainment in Fairhope, Alabama.

Vintage picture of a summer night in Fairhope, AL in 1915

Photo courtesy Historic Mobile Preservation Society

Summer in Fairhope is a time to enjoy lazy days and entertainment, and the 1910s were no exception. The below photograph shows a night of outside fun on the Eastern Shore in 1915. It was captured by Stewart the Picture Man, whose photographs of Baldwin County landmarks became popular when he began printing them on postcards. At this event, George Marshall, an “ex-professional” and Fairhope resident, is pictured walking a slack wire to an awestruck crowd on the Nichols’ bay-front lawn. He has been referenced in articles of that time as putting on similar performances at multiple Fairhope events. According to an excerpt on this event, lighting on the lawn was provided by the Nichols’ son, Forrest Nichols, an engineering and electricity student home from Auburn University on summer break.

By the Numbers

$1.25
The average price of a boy’s sailor suit in 1915. White versions popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were worn in Fairhope’s summers.

4–8 mm
The diameter of slack wire. Slackwire and tightrope performing differ. Tightrope performers balance by shifting weight over a tight wire. Slackwire performers swing to move a relaxed wire under them.

18 x 13 ft.
The dimensions of Captain Nichols’ double bayfront cottages. They were described in 1902 as “larg-er than any that Capt. Nichols has built.” Nichols frequently rented out his properties.

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2 for 5 cents
The price Stewart the Picture Man charged for photo view cards in the summer of 1915. Before this, he charged 10 cents for 3 cards. Reasons for his price change were “large purchases, improved methods of work and extended connections thoughout the county.”

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