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Tom McGehee

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Ask McGehee: What is the history of Baytreat at Battles Wharf in Baldwin County?

Nestled among the waterfront estates of Battles Wharf is a facility owned and operated by Mobile’s Government Street Presbyterian Church. While architecturally resembling many of its neighbors with...

Ask McGehee: A “Warehouse District” in Mobile?

While it was not officially called the warehouse district, there was, beginning in the 19th century, a small city of warehouses between Water Street and...

Ask McGehee: What ever happened to the Bienville Hotel?

In 1900, it was announced that Mobile would soon have a new hotel on the northwest corner of St. Francis and St. Joseph streets. The northern side...

Ask McGehee: Mobile buildings had a lot more ironwork in years past. What...

In 1839, the popular architect Asher Benjamin recommended cast iron in his book, “The Builder’s Guide.” He noted its low cost and the ability to create...

Ask McGehee: The former Higgins Mortuary

The building had a storied past as both a social club and a mortuary. One of the most well-respected funeral homes, Higgins Mortuary, had a long...

Ask McGehee: How has Santa Claus visited Mobile in the past?

Throughout the 19th century Santa developed from the Dutch tradition of a “jolly old elf” to the robust, bearded man described by political cartoonist Thomas Nast. And,...

Ask McGehee: Bankhead Tunnel

Ironically, the tunnel was named for a family that never lived in Mobile. And Tallulah had nothing to do with its construction. Mobile was honoring the actress’s...

Ask McGehee: Was there ever a hotel in Spring Hill?

Actually there were two. Spring Hill got its name from the numerous springs in the area. Between the good water supply and  higher altitude, the locale was...

Ask McGehee: “Dixey” Shipwreck

“Dixey” is the correct spelling. It comes from an ill-fated clipper ship, the Robert H. Dixey, which was launched from Boston in 1855. The ship was...

Ask McGehee: Historic Marker at the southeast corner of Government and Warren streets

From 1907 until 1952, Alabama’s oldest Jewish congregation worshipped in a temple located at the southeast corner of Government and Warren streets. However, this was the congregation’s...

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