The Ketchum House is a fine ante-bellum mansion built by W. H. Ketchum in 1860. It was commandeered as headquarters for the Union Army and General F. R. S. Canby on 12 August 1865 while he occupied Mobile. Since 1906 the home has been used as the rectory for the Cathedral of Immaculate Concepcion and the home of the Bishop of Mobile.
The Conde Charlotte Museum House was built by Jonathon and Elizabeth Kirkbride in 1850 on the site of Mobile's first jail. Part of the jail floor and cell doors can still be seen at the house. The house is furnished with a wide variety of period pieces reflecting Mobile's history under five flags: French, English, Spanish, American and Confederate. There is also a nice Spanish Courtyard on site. Admission is $5. Hours are 10 AM to 4PM Tuesday through Saturday. The last tour is at 3:30 PM.
This impressive home was built in 1846. It was later purchased by the people of Mobile and presented to Admiral Raphael Semmes in recognition of his services during the Civil War. Semmes was and Admiral in the Confederate Navy and a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army. As commander of the CSS Alabama, Semmes and his crew captured 65 Union vessels, a feat never equaled. Semmes lived out his older years here. Tours by appointment.
There are displays in the visitors center, the gift shop and in parts of the fort. They show the different versions of the fort through the years and displays about the history of the area and the local Mardi Gras celebration.
There are displays showing how the rooms in the fort were used and how the soldiers lived. Displays include: Commander's Dining area; Enlisted Quarters; Gunner's Room; General Storehouse; the Guardhouse and more.
Fort Conde is a replica of the 18th Century French fort located here. The British garrison here was attacked in 1780 by the governor of Spanish Louisiana. The British were defeated allowing Mobile and New Orleans to aid in the efforts during the Revolutionary War. Notice the canons along the walls. There is a nice visitors center and gift shop on site along with a time capsule buried on the fort grounds.
The 1921 seat Saenger Theater was built in 1927 as a Vaudeville and movie house. It was designed by Emile Weil using the French Renaissance style of architecture. Ornate decorations reflect a variety of styles to include classic Greek designs and seashells and seahorses to reflect Mobile's relationship with the sea. The theater was designed by Emile Weil using the French Renaissance style of architecture. Ornate decorations include classical Greek mythological designs and seahorses and shells reflecting Mobiles love affair with the sea. This was one of several hundred theaters owned by Julian and Abe Saenger of Louisiana. Today the theater continues to be a center of entertainment and culture in Mobile by hosting a variety of national and international performers, Broadway musicals, orchestras, concerts and other venues. Open 10 AM to 5 PM.
The mighty battleship the USS Alabama is on display at Battleship Memorial Park located on the Mobile River not far from its mouth to Mobile Bay. You also have a nice view of the city skyline from here. The park is pleasant and you can take self-guided tours through the ship. There are different tours you can take and a guide takes you through the color-coded routes. Admission to the park is $10 (discounts for groups, seniors and AAA) and includes the USS Alabama, the USS Drum and the Aircraft Museum. Hours are 8 AM to 4 PM daily with extended hours of 8 AM to 6 PM April through September (closed Christmas Day).
The main thing to do in Theodore is go to the Bellingrath Home and Gardens. The home was built in 1935 and is very ornate and beautiful. The tour of the inside of the home was interesting but I was disappointed that no photos were allowed.
Obviously, the owners really liked fountains and statues as they are all over the gardens. Several of them were very nice, like this mermaid.
There were several variety of flowers in bloom when I visited. There was also a nice greenhouse with several varieties of flowers.
For more info see my Theodore Page
Fort Morgan was established in 1834 at the mouth of Mobile Bay. The fort was named for Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan. Many regard Fort Morgan as one of the "finest examples of military architecture in the New World." Fort Morgan is at the tip of Mobile Point at the western end of Alabama Highway 180. It and Dauphin Island, on which Fort Gaines is situated, enclose Mobile Bay. The Alabama Historical Commission maintains the site. The fort was very interesting to tour. There is a checkpoint along the entrance road where you will stop and pay the entrance fee of $5 per adult.
Stop at the museum across from the entrance to the fort to check out the displays and to get a brochure that guides you through the fort and explains what you are seeing
For more info see my Fort Morgan Page
The War of 1812 (the US and the British) proved the need for adequate defenses along the long coast of the United States. Mobile Bay was considered a strategic location, so construction began on a fort here in 1819. Unfortunately the plans were poorly thought out and executed. Finally, a new plan was made and in 1853 the new fort was named after General Edmund Gaines, who had died in 1849. Most famously, Fort Gaines was involved in the battle for Mobile Bat where Admiral Farragut of the Union Navy uttered the words "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!". Fort Gaines was in use until shortly after World War II.
There are interesting displays throughout the fort showing the history of the fort from original planning through World War II and then its designation as an historic site, including weapons from various times.
For more info see my Fort Gaines Page.
The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge consists of 7000 acres in several different locations in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The refuge protects beach/seashore and maritime forest habitats. Over 370 species of birds live in, or visit, the refuge which is also home to the endangered Alabama beach mouse which lives in the sand dunes and amongst the sea oats. Mammals such as the red fox, the armadillo, and coyotes can be seen here. In addition to the preservation of these areas, the refuge offers a variety of recreational opportunities. The name of the refuge "Bon Secour" comes from the French and means "Safe Harbor", a most appropriate name for a national wildlife refuge. This used to be a popular place to enjoy the sun without clothing but it is now posted "No Nudity". Your first stop should be the Visitors Center where you can pick up a brochure with a map of the refuge areas and other information to enhance the enjoyment of your visit.
The refuge includes beaches, waterfront areas, maritime forests, and other environments.
You can birdwatch, enjoy waterborne activities or hike on trails like the Jeff Friend Hiking Trail.
the conde-charlotte house and museum is located just around the corner from fort conde in downtown mobile. this historic home was built in 1824 and was mobile's first jail. the house has four period rooms reflecting the various rulers of mobile. the house has a french empire room. an 18th century english room, an american federal style room, and a confederate plantation style room. for those interested in history and southern culture this house is well worth a visit when in downtown mobile. see the attached web site for times and admission.
By the Mobile Museum of Art, it's an excellent idea to continue onto the Botanical Gardens after you check out the museum (or just do it on its own) They are excellent (in my opinion) with over 100 acres that you can just walk around on your own and enjoy. What I like about this particular one is that they have rare species of locally known plants like magnolias, azaleas and camellias and roses as well as a japanese garden and herbs. VERY well laid out, relaxing and of course, pretty.
They are open the WHOLE year and best of all...they are FREE!! Why would you NOT go?
Historic house used by the commander of Fort Conde. Mobile's first official jail. This c. 1822 Federal-style home has period rooms containing French, British, Confederate, and American antique furnishings plus a charming & walled Spanish courtyard.