Oxen approach Fairhope Avenue in the undated photo below. The oxen are moving two pine logs attached to a logging wheel, whose huge wheels allowed it to travel through dense forest terrain and across unpaved roads. Oxen’s ability to pull the weight of both logging wheel and tree trunks made them choice pack animals. The oxen are passing by Gaston’s Garage, owned by James E. Gaston Sr. and located at 12 North Section Street close to the corner of Fairhope Avenue. The business was originally established as Gaston’s Auto Livery in 1914. The company was renamed Gaston’s Garage in 1916 and began to sell Ford motor cars. In 1924, it had a showroom added. Today, the old Gaston’s Garage location houses Villa Decor.
James E. Gaston Sr., owner of Gaston’s Garage, was the son of Ernest Barry Gaston, one of the famed founders of the Fairhope Single Tax Colony.
E. B. Gaston, as he is more commonly known, was a journalist in Iowa before he helped establish the Fairhope Single Tax Colony in 1894, with the founders’ families moving to the Eastern Shore in November of that year. Nineteen children and 9 adults grew to over 100 individuals by 1900.
E. B. Gaston started “The Fairhope Courier,” which became Fairhope’s first newspaper, in August 1894, which has been in continous publication since.
By the Numbers
The number of residents the city of Fairhope had at its founding in 1908. Today, the city has over 24,000 residents.
Fairhope Avenue was one of the properties on this year’s version of the board game The Landlord’s Game, a precursor of Monopoly.
The approximate length of Fairhope Avenue, which stretches from the Fairhope Pier all the way to Bohemian Hall Road in Silverhill.
The year “Progress and Poverty” was published. This book inspired E. B. Gaston’s vision for the Fairhope Single Tax Colony.
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