Mobile and the surrounding area have a rich history, from the city's founding as the first capital of the French colony of Louisiana to Spanish occupation to the bustle of the cotton boom of the early 19th century. Experience the history of the region first hand at a number of sites and landmarks.
Historic Fort Gaines
Begun in 1821, this five-sided fort on Dauphin Island took over 25 years to construct, with final work being completed by Confederate forces at the onset of the Civil War. The fort played an important role in the Battle of Mobile Bay, one of the war's most notable naval battles of the war. In 1898 the fort received additional armament as a result of the Spanish-American War. Following World War I, the Fort was sold to the City of Mobile and later deeded to the Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board. The Fort was used periodically for training by both the National Guard and the Coast Guard, but has served primarily as a tourist attraction since the 1930's.
Fort Morgan State Historic Site
Located at the tip of Mobile Point, Fort Morgan was an important element of coastal defense for the U.S. from the Civil War through World War II. The construction of Fort Morgan began in 1819 and finished in 1834. Fort Morgan was the first line of Confederate defense during the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. The onsite history museum contains artillery pieces, military uniforms, small arms and original photographs from the 19th century through World War II. A living history encampment held the first weekend in August commemorates the Battle of Mobile Bay and the Siege of Fort Morgan in 1864.
Oakleigh Historic Complex
Set underneath broad oak trees, the Oakleigh Historic Complex consists of the Oakleigh House Museum (circa 1833), the Cox-Deasy Cottage Museum (circa 1850) and the Mardi Gras Cottage Museum. The Oakley museum is housed in a Greek revival style home, and contains art, antique furniture, and other artifacts from throughout Mobile's history. The Cox-Deasy Cottage is a raised Creole Cottage typical of the middle class of the mid 1800's, and is likewise filled with art and artifacts from various periods. The Mardi Gras Cottage Museum is the most recent addition to the complex, and pays tribute to the history of the Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile, which dates to the early 19th century.
The sixth vessel to bear the name Alabama, the USS Alabama was launched in 1942 and put into active duty in early 1943. After 6 months of protecting convoys to Britain and Russia, the Alabama moved to the Pacific naval theater. Over the next two years, the Alabama assisted in assaults on the Carolines, the Marianas, the Palau Islands, New Guinea, Guam, the Philippines and the Japanese Home Islands. Now this South Dakota class battleship resides at Battleship Memorial Park along the shores of Mobile Bay. Also at the park are the USS Drum submarine, a B-52 Bomber, a Vietnam PBR River Patrol Boat, an A-12 Blackbird Spy plane and a P-51D Mustang flown by the Tuskegee Airmen.