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History

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...

Shrimp Boat Revival

Skip Jones flips through a photo album of before-and-after pic-tures of the shrimp boat he has spent the past four years resurrecting. The underlying theme of the record...

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...

Port City (Trivial) Pursuit

1. Legend has it the Copeland outlaw gang buried ____________________ in water-proof kegs in Wragg Swamp, the name of the area where Bel Air Mall is located...

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...

Iron Men

What a game it would be. If the Fountain of Youth could be discovered behind the spigot of a Gatorade cooler, the bronze suddenly shaken from old...

The Shipwreck that Changed the World

In the 1780s, Spain’s many wars had depleted its treasury. King Carolus III ordered new silver coins minted to replenish royal coffers and help boost the nation’s...

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