About the Mobile Region
Mobile is located in the southwest corner of Alabama and is the seat of Mobile County. The city is positioned at the mouth of the Mobile River and Mobile Bay and is adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. This makes the city of Mobile the only city in Alabama to have a seaport. The seaport location provides the city with a wide range of transportation and water commerce.
Mobile was founded in 1702, as the first capital of the French Colony Louisiana and named Fort Louis de la Louisiana. Later the capitol was moved to New Orleans and the city was moved to Mobile bay and named St Louis de la Mobile. The last part of the name was derived from the Native American word Maubilla. The correct pronunciation of the city's name is "Mo-beel."
The city of Mobile has a rich history tied to the early exploration of America and the history of the United States. The area offers local attractions from historical Fort Gaines, Fort Conde, and local historical southern homes such as Bragg-Mitchell Mansion as well as the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. The beauty, variety, and size of the city make it a wonderful place to live and explore. If your looking for southern charm and a subtropical climate, Mobile is the place to be.
Mobile's Metro Area
Consisting of Mobile and Baldwin counties, Mobile's population of 551,178 makes Mobile Alabama's second-largest metropolitan area. Mobile offers amenities and infrastructure as a major metropolitan area boasting more than a quarter of a million people in an area of 128 square miles. Ranked by Money Magazine as one of the top five "most polite" cities in the nation, Mobile has also received the distinction of All American City from the National Civic League. Mobile is also listed as one of the top 15 cities in the most recent job market.
Mobile is an appealing city in size and amenities. It is small enough to offer a high quality of life and large enough to provide a wide variety of services typically found in larger cities. Mobile's residents ranging from active families, singles, and seniors benefit from a small urban area combined with cosmopolitan city benefits. As one of Alabama's hub-cities of development and activity growth, Mobile is recognized as a city for beautification, downtown revitalization, and housing rehabilitation. Mobile also exceeds in education, and crime elimination.
Mobile's geographical location on the Gulf of Mexico provides a mild subtropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 67.5 degrees. January through December temperatures range from 40 degrees to 99 degrees. The average annual precipitation of 66.29 inches benefits the lush vegetation of the region. Mobile has mild warm summers with Gulf breezes and very mild winters making a desirable place to live especially for seniors. Being on the gulf, Mobile is occasionally affected by major tropical storms. Overall Mobile is a desirable and pleasant place to live and retire.
History of the Area
In 1702 Mobile was a frontier town and trading post on the Mobile River at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff. The settlement was first named Fort Louis de la Louisiana and known as the first capital of Louisiana. In 1711, due to the risk of floods the city was moved to the junction of Mobile River and Mobile Bay and renamed Fort Conde. Louisiana Capital was moved to the city of Biloxi in 1720 and the to present day New Orleans in 1723.
Over the next ninety years Mobile saw vast changes in commerce and political rule. For forty of those years the British ruled Mobile, because of the signing of Treaty of Paris in 1763. The port city flourished under this rule and was renamed Fort Charlotte after Queen. The British rule marked a point of division between the French Creole culture of Mobile, and the rest of the French-founded coast. The French residents relocated to Louisiana, because of the stringent British rule and racial issues that did not ply with the French laissez-faire or hands off attitude.
In 1790, Mobile was captured again by the Spanish, because of the American Revolutionary War and held her until 1813. By then being the second largest seaport in the Gulf Coast it was then overtaken by General Wilkinson an American General. From the middle of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century Mobile expanded into a cosmopolitan city of commerce maintaining its culture. The Cotton Boom and Mobile being one of the busiest ports in the United States brought the city recognition throughout the world.
During the American Civil War Mobile was a confederate city and in 1864 surrendered to the Union army to avoid destruction after defending its port for a year. Ironically though, a year later in 1865 the city lost a large part of its residents, some three hundred people, to an ammunitions plant explosion destroying a large portion of the city.
After the war, the city revived and became a ship- building port churning out vessels for the military. One of the first submarines was built in Mobile. World War II led to a massive military effort causing a considerable increase in Mobile's population, largely due to the building of Army, Air Force and Naval bases. By 1956, Mobile's metropolitan area tripled in growth.
The 1960s brought about post war changes in Mobile's economy. Instead of shipbuilding, the paper industry began to flourish and military bases were converted to civilian uses. Mobiles seafood industry, notable for Mobile Bay oysters rose and fell in the last quarter of the twentieth century; leaving behind a few shrimpers hanging on to a uncertain future.
In reference to Mobile's seafood industry, Mobile's eastern portion of the bay experiences a unique phenomenon called the Jubilee. In the middle of warm nights, an upsurge from the bottom of the bay brings a variety of seafood delicacies. News quickly spread of this phenomena and brought about spur-of-the moment fishing parties known as the Jubilee. This phenomenon happens in Japan as well, and is thought to be caused by low oxygen levels in the water.
"Southern Hospitality" is not just a word in Mobile; it is a way of life. The city and its outlying areas are full of attractions and local destinations for all ages. From preserved old southern homes, to The Azalea Trail, Mardi Gras, Dauphin Island, and Mobile Botanical Gardens, Mobile Museum of art along with a variety of dining and shopping areas. Mobile is home to the first Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. The very first Mardi Gras was celebrated in 1704, sixty-two years before New Orleans adopted the celebration. The Azalea Capitol of the World, Mobile takes pride in displaying more than 50 Azalea varieties. The Azalea Trail Run Marathon Race, which takes place in March, is named after the famous plant. Other local attractions are listed below.
Belligrath Gardens and Home, a public gardens established in the nineteen thirties by Mrs. Bellingrath on the acreage of her husbands fishing camp known as Bellcamp. This is a worthwhile site not only for its beautiful gardens but its history as well. Alligator Alley offers up-close and personal encounters with this reptile and its natural habitat. If you enjoy animals the Mobile Greyhound Park and Wildland Expeditions boat tours are a must. The Historic Blakely State Park, Hank Aaron Stadium and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Magnolia Center provide excellent enjoyment for the most distinguished adventurers.
Mobile's cultural sites to see include something for all cultural interests: The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and IMAX will exceed your scientific expectations. The Mobile Carnival Museum housing Mardi Gras history and memorabilia is a must see. Other cultural places to see are The National African American Archives, Eastern Shore Art Center, Mobile Arts Council, Saenger Theatre, Mobile Opera, Mobile Symphony, and Mobile Ballet a wide array of cultural entertainment for all ages.
Mobile presents local grills and a variety of fine dining choices amongst its many cafés and restaurants. Five of its top listed restaurants with gold star ratings are Banzai Japanese Restaurant, The Brick Pit, Guss Azalea Manor Restaurant, Nan Seas and Ruth's Chris Steak house. For more listings see Mobile's official web site listed below.
Art and History
Mobile's art and history museums include, Mobile Museum of Art, Oakleigh Historic Complex displaying historic buildings and homes, Museum of Mobile, USS Alabama battleship park which includes The Aircraft Pavilion and the USS Drum submarine, and the Dauphin Island Estaurium housing the Dauphin Island sea lab. The Magee Farm and Home site is a must for those into Civil War history. Do not miss the Bragg Mitchell Mansion an integral part of local history and The Conde'- Charlotte House another historical home. Other unique museums include Mobile Medical Museum, Phoenix Fire Museum, Mobile Police Museum, St Ignatius Archives and Museum,
Transportation in Mobile
Services for transportation includes, airport transportation to and from Mobile's regional and downtown airports. The Wave Transit System, Mobile's own local bus system, and The Mobile Port Authority. Mobile offers a variety of private limousine and taxi services as well. For additional transportation information see links below.
The Mobile Seniors Resource Guide & Internet Directory indexes senior housing, senior support services, and professional senior-oriented businesses for the counties of Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile. Mobile is the largest city in the area, and other smaller cities include Chickasaw, Prichard, Saraland, and Tillman's Corner.
Cities in Mobile County, by population are Mobile, Pritchard, Saraland, and Theodore. Baldwin County is east of Mobile County and separated from Mobile County by Mobile Bay. The Eastern Shore is the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, or the western edge of Baldwin County. This area is generally upscale and identifies with the City of Mobile more so than inland rural Baldwin County. It is accessible directly by an 8-mile causeway crossing Mobile Bay. Towns of the Eastern Shore are Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort, and Point Clear. Inland Baldwin County contains the cities of Bay Minette, Foley, Robertsdale, and Gulf Shores. Gulf Shores is actually a resort area on the Gulf of Mexico. Escambia County is a rural county with two principal cities, Atmore and Brewton. Atmore is the County Seat. Both cities are very small. Mobile's sister city is Ichihara, Chiba prefecture of Japan.
Cities of notable interest and history around Mobile are:
Saraland — located in Mobile County, Alabama with a population of 12,288. Don Diago Alvarez acquired Saraland through a Spanish land grant; the land was given the name Alvarez Station by his descendants. In 1800 many families homesteaded the area, one of which was the Cleveland family who named the area Cleveland Station. Its present day name later came from a retired minister editor who opened the first post office in 1895 and renamed the city after his beloved wife, Sara. Saraland was a sparsely populated city until the industrial boom, which caused the northward expansion of Mobile. This expansion brought about Saraland's incorporation with Mobile in 1957. At that time Saraland had only 125 residents.
Fairhope — Located in Baldwin County, Alabama with a population of 12,480. Fairhope was founded in 1894 as a result of a corporation of 28 followers of economist Henry George from De Moines, Iowa. The corporation was name the Fairhope Industrial Association and their purpose in founding Fairhope as a colony was ----"to establish and conduct a model community or colony, free from all forms of private monopoly, and to secure to its members therein equality of opportunity, the full reward of individual efforts, and the benefits of co-operation in maters of general concern."
The corporation established their colony by pooling together funds and purchasing land known as Stapleton's pasture on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Then dividing the land into leaseholds they were able to pay all government taxes and rents making a single tax. This single tax system would maintain the value of the land for the colony by providing incentives for using the land productively. The Fairhope Corporation still uses the single tax levy on leaseholds covering more than 4,000 acres in and around the current city of Fairhope. Fairhope now an affluent suburb of Mobile transformed from the original utopian colony to an artists and intellectuals haven as well as a boutique resort.
Gulf Shores — Located in Baldwin County, Alabama, with a population of 5,044. Gulf Shores is Alabama's major seaside resort devoted to tourism and service industry. Gulf Shores has direct access to the Gulf of Mexico making it very popular with the local people of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana putting the seaside resorts of Florida in second place comparatively.
Senior Services in the Mobile, Alabama Region
Mobile's transportation system, cost of living, and moderate population size make it very appealing to seniors and families as a place to call home. The city offers the conveniences of a large metropolitan area with an excellent infrastructure. Seniors are just discovering the attraction of the area and of retiring to Mobile, Alabama.
There is a variety of senior housing in Mobile ranging from independent retirement communities, continuum of care communities, assisted living, skilled nursing, Alzheimer's assisted, Alzheimer's skilled nursing, six major hospitals a medical center and clinic. Additional senior support services include a wide choice of home health care, home medical services and professional senior services. Mobile Senior Citizens services offers premier resources for people over the age of 55. These services include health and wellness programs, recreation, and personal enrichment. Use our Search Senior Services link to learn more about the variety of senior housing and senior support services located in the Mobile region.
Visit Resources to learn more about the Mobile, Alabama region.