Fairhope contains some beautiful old buildings. Among these you can find a bit of quirkiness. The Storybook Castle sits off in the woods just north of downtown, as does the hermit house at Tolstoy Park. Well, it’s not really a park, but rather a round, little domed hut once owned by a man named Henry Stuart who owned several acres near my house. He built this hut to live in. I have always wondered about this little building. A facebook friend recently posted some information about it. An author by the name of Sonny Brewer has written a novel around this little building called “The Poet of Tolstoy Park”. I couldn’t resist to go investigate.
I’ve seen this building many times driving home from Fairhope and always wondered what it was. It sits in the parking lot of an office park that was built around the hut, preserving it. Now I know the story. The building is off of Parker Rd near the Fairhope Publix.
I took my family to check it out. The building was open so we went in, took pictures and signed the guest book. The floor was rather puddly; we had a rain this morning. Stop by and visit this quirky little home but read the links I’ve provided above in bold for some more history. If you’d like to read the book, there’s a great little bookstore in Fairhope called Page and Pallett; they should have a copy.
My mother, who is now 93, was telling me about this, just today. She grew up in the area in the 1930’s and she remembers Mr. Stuart very well from her childhood days. She said whenever they would see him walking around town, on those occasions when he did venture out for supplies, he was always barefoot, even in the dead of winter. And she recalled him being especially kind to all the children. Thank you so much for sharing this story!
I think your mom’s story is cool as well. I appreciate you getting in touch.