Interview with Mr. Marvin Rockwell - MONTEVERDE COSTA RICA - Part 1

This is an amazing interview with Mr. Marvin Rockwell, a 90 years old pioneer from the first generation of Quakers that came to Monteverde after the 2nd Worl...

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Comment by William F Rushby on 3rd mo. 4, 2014 at 7:32pm

More information on Fairhope Friends Meeting: http://oeburns.wix.com/fairhopefriends#!

Comment by William F Rushby on 3rd mo. 4, 2014 at 7:13pm

The story of Fairhope Friends and the settlement in Costa Rica is complex and interesting.  The Fairhope Friends' group was started by Conservative Friends (I think) who moved there to establish a Quaker version of the Henry George Single-Tax community: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairhope,_Alabama  Most of these Conservative Friends were from Iowa, I believe, but their meeting affiliated with Ohio Yearly Meeting for obvious geographical reasons.

The Fairhope meeting "spawned" the Monteverde group in Costa Rica, but it also contributed to the growth and revitalization of the Holly Spring Conservative meeting in North Carolina.

Unlike Monteverde, the Holly Spring meeting attempted to model "classical" Conservative Quakerism.  Very traditional Friends moved in from Fairhope, but also from elsewhere in North Carolina, Ohio and (I think) Pennsylvania.  The meeting thrived, and had its own parochial school.  The *Friendsville Current* was published from there for many years.

Sadly, the Holly Spring meeting petered out over a period of several years.  Many of its members moved to Ohio.  I knew the last two resident members of the meeting: Geneva Hall and Walter Macon.  They were deeply committed Conservative Friends, and continued to meet for several years as the remnant of the meeting.  Geneva, I believe, had married a Mennonite from Virginia; I think they had ten children.  Walter preached in the old style; his sermons were short, but very musical.

The meeting at Fairhope continued in affiliation with Ohio Yearly Meeting, but apparently there was little contact by the 1970s'.  Sometime during that period, Fairhope withdrew from OYM, and later affiliated with the Friends General Conference.

Some more conservative Friends from OYM tried living at Monteverde, but subsequently returned to Ohio.  During the Vietnam war, several liberal Friends moved to Monteverde.  This accelerated Monteverde's movement away from Conservative Friends.

Fairhope and its aftermath would make a great topic for a master's thesis.

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