Clay City Tile: Frank Brown and the Company that Built Fairhope will be published in June. The Book Launch Party is tentatively scheduled for the Local Writers’ Night at Fairhope Public Library on Thursday July 16, 2020. The celebration begins at 6 PM in the Giddens Center. Check the Fairhope Public Library website for updates and cancellations.
More About Clay City…from the back cover!
Upon moving to Fairhope in 2005 Alan Samry became curious about the unique orange building block found all over Baldwin County. Coming from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where construction is mostly wood, he was curious about this unique construction material. It was especially evident in Fairhope including many homes where the block was exposed, and an innumerable amount of that were covered by brick or stucco. Alan was surprised that no one had done research on what to him was such a fascinating and unique part of Fairhope’s and the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation’s history. It turns out this building block was first made by Frank Brown around 1915 and had its final run in the 1990s. This study was completed in 2007, under the direction of Dr. Philippe Oszuscik, as associate professor at the University of South Alabama. It has been updated and includes the history of Clay Products Inc., its founder Frank Brown and his descendants who ran the company, a construction history, and images of numerous structures of local significance. To say the tile was used in all kinds of construction is an understatement, so Alan has provided a general structural analysis of many building types. From brooding houses to large farming building and commercial structures to farm working houses and craftsman cottages, Fairhope is made from Clay Products.