Fairfield, Alabama

“Garden – lot 9, block 11. . . .  Garden of $20 a month home,” Fairfield, Alabama, 1917,
via Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Fairfield was a planned community built in 1910 for the workers of U.S. Steel’s plants in the Birmingham area. Its (mostly white) residents could either rent or purchase modern houses with indoor plumbing and central heating. There were also parks and playgrounds, churches, a public library, and 30,000 newly planted trees and shrubs.

The photograph is one of over sixteen thousand created or collected by Frank G. Carpenter and his daughter, Frances, to illustrate his geography textbooks and popular travel books.

Sunnie-Holme


“Sunnie-Holme,” Fairfield, Connecticut, ca. 1930, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by John Duer Scott, via Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Institution Commons on flickr.

Sunnie-Holme was the summer residence of Annie Burr Jennings, whose father made fortunes in the California gold rush and as an investor in Standard Oil.  She designed at least some of the garden, influenced by the writings of Gertrude Jekyll. The house was demolished after her death in 1939 — a provision of her will. There is a photo here.