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Tom McGehee

Tom McGehee
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Ask McGehee: What is the history of Hammel’s Department Store?

Every major American city was once defined by its fine department stores.  Mobile originally had two: Gayfer’s and Hammel’s.

Ask McGehee: Who was the British nobleman who served as king of Mobile’s Mardi...

The only British-born monarch of Mobile’s Mardi Gras was Arthur Shirley Benn. The year was 1896, but he served under the name of “Emperor of Joy” rather than King Felix.

Ask McGehee: The banking crisis in California made me wonder: has Mobile ever experienced...

In the history of local banks, there is a remarkable number of them that arrived with great fanfare and vanished within a short period. Others, which had been around for decades, shocked the community when they failed.

Ask McGehee: What is the history of the building housing the St. Francis Place...

The historic building, which has housed luxurious condominiums for well over 20 years, got its start in 1908 as the Convent of Mercy.

Ask McGehee: What is the history of the Spring Hill Hotel?

According to the May 3, 1903 edition of the Mobile Press-Register, the new Spring Hill Hotel was under construction on the south side of Old Shell Road, just east of today’s McGregor Avenue.

Ask McGehee: What Is the History of Trinity Episcopal Church in Midtown?

Trinity is the second oldest Episcopal church in Mobile, and the only one to have the distinction of having been consecrated twice by two different bishops. Much of its long history, however, did not take place at its present location.

Ask McGehee: What is the history of Mobile’s Admiral Hotel?

The 12-story hotel was opened in November 1940, and named in honor of Mobile’s Admiral Raphael Semmes. It had been constructed over a course of 15 months at a total cost of $1 million — well over $21 million in today’s dollars.

Ask McGehee: What was the Zimmer Memorial Home?

In October of 1923, Catholic Bishop Edward Patrick Allen dedicated the Zimmer Memorial Institute at 2567 St. Stephens Road in Toulminville.

Ask McGehee: What are the details of the marker concerning a lynching in Mobile?

At roughly 1:15 a.m. on the morning of January 23, 1909, a group of two dozen armed, masked men strolled into what was then called the New Jail at 104 Church Street and held a gun on a deputy to obtain the keys to the cells. A prisoner was taken by force out onto the street and dragged west.

Ask McGehee: Where did the name of the Leinkauf historic district originate?

That designated district, located south of Government Street, is named for the historic public school located on Church Street.

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