Mobile is Alabama’s oldest city, which became part of the state in 1819. Mobile is filled with magnificent historic districts and dozens of landmarked homes and buildings. During its first 100 years, Mobile was a colony of France, Great Britain, and Spain. During the American Civil War, Mobile was a Confederate city. The turn of the 20th Century brought rapid economic boom, shipbuilding, steel, cotton, iron, and several other new industries were built, which attracted a large number of immigrants and doubled the population. During this time, the city received $3 million in federal grants for harbor improvements to deepen the shipping channels. The shipbuilding industry grew significantly during World War II, which resulted in a considerable increase in the city’s middle-class and working-class population. The postwar era saw a rapid decline of jobs in the shipyard and defense industry.
Alabama State Port Authority Facilities where CSA provides stevedoring and terminal services The Port of Mobile (ASPA) has the capacity to handle a wide range of different cargo (bulk, breakbulk, project cargo and containers) having approximately 24 vessel calls per month. This ability, coupled with an excellent transportation infrastructure in both rail and highways, gives Mobile a competitive edge in the Gulf region.
~ Unloading a banana steamer, Mobile, Alabama, 1906 ~
Bathers near downtown on the Mobile Bay shoreline. Single men and women once had to be separated at the beach. This was the case in the 18th and 19th Century during a far more conservative time. For females, to be nude, half-naked, or wearing revealing clothes in public was frowned upon and even illegal in some cases, so a device was created to allow women to change clothes and bathe in complete privacy. circa 1901
Bathing machines were wooden cabins on large wheels which would be wheeled into shallow waters either by horses or people. This was from a time when many people could not swim, or many people would be uncomfortable about changing clothes in public. So they would venture to a place to a book a time for a bathing machine, like a doctor’s waiting room with tea and magazines.
Battle House, Mobile Alabama circa 1901
Duncan Place and Semmes monument, Mobile, Alabama circa 1901
Hotel Windsor and Royal Street, Mobile, Alabama circa 1901
Alabama Medical College, Mobile, Alabama, circa 1901
Operating room in a Mobile, Alabama. The doctors and nurses pose before operating on a patient. circa 1900
Dauphin Street, Mobile, Alabama circa 1906
Seven-year-old Ferris, Mobile, Alabama 1914
Bienville Hotel, Bienville Square Mobile, Alabama circa 1910
Royal Street looking south from St. Francis, Mobile, Alabama circa 1910
Old Market House at Royal and Church, Mobile, Alabama circa 1906
Cotton exchange, a building with beaucoup bling, Mobile, Alabama circa 1906
Bankhead Tunnel Construction circa 1939
Royal Street looking north, Mobile, Alabama 1910
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Conti Street, Mobile, Alabama circa 1910
Mobile County Courthouse, circa 1925
Curtis Feed Company downtown Mobile, circa 1932
Delivery drivers for the Curtis Feed Company stand next to their vehicles, which are decorated in the checkerboard pattern of the Ralston Purina Company, a nationwide animal feed corporation established in 1894 in St. Louis, Missouri.
King Felix III Float, Mobile, Alabama circa 1935
Government Street Mobile, Alabama circa 1906
Victory in Europe Celebration, Brookley Field Mobile, Alabama circa 1945
Construction of the Bankhead Tunnel began in 1938. It was named for John Hollis Bankhead, an Alabama native who served in both houses of the State Legislature, as well as the United States Senate from 1907-1920. He was also the grandfather of Tallulah Bankhead. Built at a cost of $4 million (or more than $65 million today), it cut 7 1/2 miles off the time needed to cross from Mobile to the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. The tunnel opened February 20, 1941. On that first day, and for the only time in its history, bicycles and pedestrians were allowed to travel through the tunnel. Legend has it that nearly 75,000 people took advantage of the opportunity and were led by then-mayor Cecil F. Bates. The Bankhead Tunnel was designed by and constructed by Wayne Palmer. To help pay for the tunnel, a toll of 25 cents per car was charged from the structure's opening until 1973, when the George Wallace Tunnel was completed. This 25 cents toll was much cheaper than the $1.00 per car charged to cross the old Cochrane Bridge or the $3.10 per vehicle toll charged by the old steamboats.
The Bankhead Tunnel consists of seven sections (two sections of 255 feet each and five sections of 298 feet each). Its tubes were constructed by the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company. When completed, the tubes were floated down river and sunk into place. At the time it opened, the Bankhead Tunnel was an engineering marvel. Its completion made news around the country. Since its opening, millions of cars have traversed its 3,389 feet. Today, because it is so narrow, only passenger cars and light trucks are allowed through it. Heavier vehicles must either use the Wallace Tunnel or travel around the city using the Cochrane-Africatown Bridge.
The Bankhead Tunnel begins a block away from Royal Street, it crosses under the Mobile River and exits onto Blakeley Island.
Construction of one of the tubes that make up the Bankhead Tunnel.
Workers constructing the eastern entrance to the tunnel.
Floating one of the seven tubes.
Cornerstone placed, 1835; Consecrated for worship 1850; Twin towers completed in the 1890's. the edifice serves a congregation formally organized in 1704 making it the mother church of Alabama and oldest parish on the Gulf Coast.
On a bitterly cold December day in 1850 the Diocese of Mobile, less than 35 years old, celebrated its patronal feast, the Immaculate Conception, by consecrating a cathedral whose cornerstone had been laid in 1835. It represented a monumental expression of faith on the part of the Catholic community, led by Bishop Michael Portier (d. 1859), assisted by benefactors in France and Rome, and, closer to home, those whom one contemporary paper called "their fellow citizens of every creed!" Bishop Martin John Spalding of Louisville who preached for the occasion said of the edifice: "It is almost worthy of God."
A heroic challenge was set by Bishop Portier in laying foundations for a church 162 feet in length and 90 feet in width. It met his vision for "the future of Mobile," and for the family of faith in Alabama and Florida which the Cathedral has served for more than 150 years. Subsequent generations met the promise of completing the church, sometimes following the original plan, but also in response to circumstances such as the fire of 1954 that could have destroyed the whole structure.
During WWII, a pilot was flying too low attempting to land at Brookley Air Force Base, he clipped one of the towers resulting in damage.
The USS Alabama (BB-60) is a World War II-era battleship and the fifth ship named after the state of Alabama. It first served in the Atlantic theater of operations during the war but was better known for its role in helping to take Japanese-held islands in the Pacific from 1943 to 1945, earning numerous citations. It is now the centerpiece of USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park on the Mobile River in Mobile County, and one of the state's most visited attractions.
USS Alabama (BB-60) Construction began on February 1, 1940, at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia. More than 3,000 men and women, working 24 hours a day for 30 months, brought the $80 million project to completion nine months ahead of schedule. The largest ship ever built in Portsmouth; it displaces 35,000 tons. When laden for action, it weighed 45,000 tons, or 90 million pounds. The ship measures 680 feet long, 108 feet and 2 inches abeam (meaning at the widest point) and rises 194 feet from keel to top light. Despite its bulky size, the Alabama's advanced design enabled it to steam at 28 knots, or almost 32 miles per hour. The vessel was christened on February 16, 1942, by Henrietta Hill, wife of Alabama senator Lister Hill.
Commissioned on Sunday, August 16, 1942, the Alabama underwent sea trials in the Chesapeake Bay under the command of Capt. George B. Wilson and was known by her 2,500-man crew as the "Mighty A."
USS ALABAMA ~ Battleship Memorial Park
Looking Aft. Norfolk Navy Yard Portsmouth, VA ~ January 4, 1942.
USS Alabama anchored at Lynn Haven roads on 1 December 1942.
Battleship USS Alabama was decommissioned at Puget Sound navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington in January 1947 and remained in reserve until struck from the Naval Vessel Register in June 1962. Two years later she was turned over to the State of Alabama.
Battleship Memorial Parkway
More than 15-million visitors later and a statewide economic impact approaching one billion dollars, the Park is easily the most recognizable symbol of the State of Alabama.