Friday, November 27, 2009

Mobile, AL and Dauphin Island

I had the day off today, and I used it to check out Mobile, AL.
I was impressed with the number of trees in the city and how dense the tree canopy was. In the picture below, you can see how the trees have overtaken the street signs and lights.
My first stop in Mobile was to the Oakleigh House, a Greek Revival mansion built in 1833.
I learned a few interesting things about 19th century home design in the deep south. In the picture above you'll notice a staircase that goes up to the second floor deck. That deck was the main entrance to the house. The lower level was used for storage. The main part of the house was built up high to keep bugs out (there were no window screens at the time) and to improve airflow. Mansions of the era were also built in a t-shape to help improve airflow.

After taking a tour of the house and walking around the surrounding area, I headed down to Dauphin Street in the Dauphin Street Historic District.
It's kinda like South Street: lots of bars, cheep restaurants, and second hand shops. It's all very clean and it looks like many of the buildings had their facades torn down, and then rebuilt. Off the street there are many cool historic homes.
Also on Dauphin Street was the very impressive Cathedral of the Immaculate.
After doing a lot of walking, I checked out the docks.
Nothing to report there except memories from Season 2 of "The Wire."

After I had my fill of Mobile I drove down to Dauphin Island, approximately 37 miles south of the city.

The island is a barrier island, sitting more or less between the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay.

Getting to it you go over a bridge with a massive incline:
On the island I visited the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, which has a estuarium dedicated to the ecology of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, the Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands and the Gulf of Mexico.

As neat as that was, there was something much more impressive and interesting about seeing all of the oil rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico.
It was difficult to capture with a camera the sheer number of rigs that were out there, so I took this picture once it got pretty dark so that the rigs in the distance could be seen with their lights:
The island is also home to Fort Gaines.


  1. My mother was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama and we went there every summer as children to spend with my Grandmother, Aunts, Cousins, etc.
    I am 59 years old and when you said you found the oil rigs out in the Gulf "interesting" I almost choked.
    Those oil rigs have ruined the most beautiful scenery that was once Mobile's beaches.
    I have lived in Florida for over 20 years and now they want them over here. Please don't ever call those UGLY things (oh by the way with the potential of leaking that oil) as INTERESTING!!!!!!!!!!!
    Cathy P.
    Saint Petersburg, FL

    I have lived in Florida for over twenty years now and they are pushing and pushing to put those ugly things by our beaches also.

  2. Haha Im glad you liked Oakleigh! I give a few tours there once a month. Thats one of the best place in Mobile, AL. And you remebered the Info most tourest just pretend to listen.

  3. Well, how pretty do you think your car is just sitting in the driveway. Without the oil that comes from those wells, that's what it will be doing. How nice for Floridians to get their oil from somewhere else.