Days Gone By - stories from the past

Mobile, Alabama, a colony of France, Britain and Spain – this {film and old photographs} reveals its mixed heritage

 First Capital of Colonial French Louisiana

“On January 20, 1702, French colonists, led by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, establish Fort Louis de la Mobile on a bluff twenty-seven miles up the Mobile River from Mobile Bay. The settlement, soon known simply as “Mobile,” moved to its permanent site at the mouth of the Mobile River in 1711. It served as the capital of the colony of Louisiana from its founding to 1718.” (Alabama Department of Archives and History)


Mobile began as the first capital of colonial French Louisiana in 1702. During its first 100 years, Mobile was a colony of France, then Britain, and lastly Spain. Mobile first became a part of the United States of America in 1813, with the annexation of West Florida under President James Madison.

The film and the photographs below, taken around 1900 by the Detroit Publishing Company reveal its heritage with the ornate décor on many buildings.

River packet Jas. T. Staples, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1906 – Detroit Publishing Company

River packet Jas. T. Staples, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1906 - Detroit Publishing

A River packet, Mobile, Alabama -ca. 1906 – Detroit Publishing CompanyA River packet, Mobile, Alabama -ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing Company

TOWNS IN THE ALABAMA TERRITORY – Mobile described in an article published in 1817!

Mobile County Court House and Jail, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1910 Detroit Publishing CompanyMobile County Court House and Jail, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 Detroit Publishing Company

Government Street in Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1906 -Detroit Publishing CompanyGovernment Street looking east in Mobile, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1906 - Mobile, Alabama -Detroit Publishing Company

Check out the historic film footage of President Woodrow Wilson visited Mobile, Alabama in 1913  and changed the course of America’s foreign relations.

Government St., Mobile, Ala between. ca. 1900 – Detroit Publishing CompanyGovernment Street in Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1900 - Mobile, Alabama -

Jewish synagogue, Mobile, Alabama between 1905 -1915 – Detroit Publishing CompanyJewish synagogue, Mobile, Alabama between 1905 -1915 - Detroit Publishing Company

Entrance to Monroe Park, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1906 – Mobile, Alabama -Detroit Publishing CompanyEntrance to Monroe Park, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1906 - Mobile, Alabama -Detroit Publishing Company

Monroe Park, Mobile, Alabama between 1905-1915 – Detroit Publishing CompanyMonroe Park, Mobile, Alabama between 1905-1915 - Detroit Publishing Company

Ghosts of many wars roam the historic forts of Mobile, Alabama [pics & films]

Waterfront, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 -Detroit Publishing CompanyWaterfront, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 -Detroit Publishing Company

Waterfront, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 -Detroit Publishing CompanyWaterfront, Mobile, Alabama3 ca. 1900 -Detroit Publishing Company

When the Mississippi Bubble Burst it devastated the French in Mobile

The Water front, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1906 – Mobile, Alabama -Detroit Publishing CompanyThe Water front, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1906 - Mobile, Alabama -Detroit Publishing Company

Yacht Club Pier, Monroe Park,  Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1900 – Detroit Publishing CompanyYacht Club Pier, Monroe Park, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing Company

Yacht Club, Monroe Park,  Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1900 – Detroit Publishing CompanyYacht Club, Monroe Park, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing Company

Interesting description of a group of people called Cajans around Mobile Alabama written before 1940

Royal Street looking north, Mobile, Alabama between 1905-1915 – Detroit Publishing Company

Royal Street looking north, Mobile, Alabama between 1905-1915 - Detroit Publishing Company

Royal St., looking south from St. Francis St, Mobile, Ala. between 1905 – 1915 – Detroit Publishing CompanyRoyal St., looking south from St. Francis St, Mobile, Ala. ca. 1910 - Detroit Publishing Company

 Windsor Hotel and Royal Street, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1906 – Detroit Publishing CompanyWindsor Hotel and Royal Street, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1906 - Detroit Publishing Company

Azaleas in Mobile, older than the state [photographs and video]

City Hospital, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1909 – Detroit Publishing CompanyCity Hospital, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1909 - Detroit Publishing Company

The Can’t Get Away Club in Mobile, Alabama – You’ll never guess its purpose

Unloading bananas Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 Detroit Publishing CompanyUnloading bananas Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 Detroit Publishing Company

Unloading a banana steamer Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 Detroit Publishing CompanyUnloading a banana steamer Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 Detroit Publishing Company

Hotel Bienville – Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1900 – Detroit Publishing CompanyHotel Bienville - Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing Company

Hotel Bienville – Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1900 – Detroit Publishing CompanyBienville Hotel, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing

Azaleas in Mobile, older than the state [photographs and video]

Medical College of Alabama, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1900- Detroit Publishing CompanyMedical College of Alabama, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1909- Detroit Publishing Company

Medical College of Alabama, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1909- Detroit Publishing CompanyMedical College of Alabama, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1909- Detroit Publishing Company2

Mobile Country Club, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1909- Detroit Publishing CompanyMobile Country Club, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1909- Detroit Publishing Company

Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama, oldest college in Alabama and oldest Catholic College in Southeast [film & pics]

Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1909 – Detroit PublishingCatholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile, Alabama - ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing

Bienville Park, Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1900 – Detroit Publishing CompanyBienville Park, Mobile, Alabama ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing Company

The Cross, Bienville Square Park Mobile, Ala. ca. 1900 – Detroit Publishing CompanyThe Cross, Bienville Square Park Mobile, Ala. ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing Company

This is a great place to stay during Mardi Gras in Mobile!

Dauphin St., Mobile, Ala between. 1900 – 1910 – Detroit Publishing CompanyDauphin St., Mobile, Ala between. 1900 - 1910 - Detroit Publishing Company

Dauphin St., Mobile, Alabama – ca. 1909 – Detroit Publishing Company

Dauphin St., Mobile, Ala ca. 1900 - Detroit Publishing Company

Gunpowder explodes in warehouse at Mobile and destroys half the town. [pictures & list of wounded soldiers]

Click here for all historic books by Donna R. Causey

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people who discovered and initially settled in Alabama.

Some stories include:

  • The true story of the first Mardi Gras in America and where it took place
  • The Mississippi Bubble Burst – how it affected the settlers
  • Did you know that many people devoted to the Crown settled in Alabama –
  • Sophia McGillivray- what she did when she was nine months pregnant
  • Alabama had its first Interstate in the early days of settlement

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)


By (author): Donna R Causey
List Price: $11.77 USD
New From: $11.35 USD In Stock

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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28 comments

  1. Janet McQueen

    Jason u might like these.

  2. […] President Woodrow Wilson said these historic words at a speech in Mobile, Alabama on October 27, 1913 and we have over 100-year-old film footage of his visit to Mobile. […]

  3. I am only 68, but I remember a lot of these places. A lot are still around. My Maternal Grandfather died in City Hospital of cancer.

  4. […] with an Englishman by the name of William N. Thompson, visited Claiborne. Thompson was going to Mobile on horse-back, and I remained at Claiborne until he returned; I spent much of that time in company […]

  5. I grew up in Mobile in the 60’s and 70’s. I have had the opportunity to take the bus as a kid to Bienvile Squar during Mardi Gra to sell festive items out of a box tied around my neck. Stay in the wouneedful Battle House Hotel in the 70’s and after it was refurbished in 2014. Help restore the Episcopal Church downtown Government St. Been in Mardi Gra parade, fished the Delta as a teen and took dancing lessons at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio Downtown. Enjoyed movies at the Mobile Downtown Thearter, swam in Spring Hill Colleges spring fed pool naked as a boy. Had my first love, first beer, first car and lost my dad all in Mobile. Mobile will always have a fond place in my heart. Kim Bolt

  6. John McCune

    Love these old pictures and of the city I now live in.

  7. Brenda Haase

    These are great pics.

  8. Charles Moore

    It so drives me up the wall to hear Mobile mispronounced in the media. Last week a movie (wish I could remember the name) and a CBS sports announcer pronouced it like they were describing things that can move – no, no, no, it’s Mo- beel.

    1. I love “Mo-beel, and have had to correct it’s pronunciation in addition to singing its praises. I graduated from nursing college there where I was prepared to walk into any situation and proactively set the pace. Still go sit in Bienville Square and feed pants and popcorn to the squirrels and pigeons that would sit in my lap or perch on my head hands and arms.

  9. George Simons

    In the pics of downtown you many of the buildings had balconies and porches…protection from the summer sun and afternoon thunder showers.

  10. Shirley Holland Goss

    I had 3-4 generations who were born and lived there lives in Mobile. The Lanes , Busby’s, Street’s, Evan’ and DeMouy’s. Most worked in the Mobile Mill. My greatgrandmother ran the mill store.l remember playing inside near the post office. GGpa DeMouy worked in the hardware and all the old timers sat by the wood stove and played checkers.

  11. Judie Crowther

    Love my city, Mobile, AL, past and present.

  12. Elaine Hyre

    My great great great grandmother, from Spain, had to have permission to get married in mobile.

  13. […] you looking for a great place to stay for the Mardis Gras in Mobile, Alabama? Check out the historic Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & […]

  14. Bryan Hutchins

    I live in Mobile and we always enjoy the Mardi Gras season.

  15. Steve Faulk

    We enjoyed Marti Gras when we lived and worked down there!

  16. I am a 6th generational Mobilian and proud of our old city. Loved the photos. Thank you !

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed them! Donna

  17. I really enjoyed these old photos! I’m a native of Detroit and have been living here in Mobile for upwards of fifteen years now. I’ve come to love Mobile as my home and want to learn as much as possible about the history of this lovely city. I just purchased the first of the Tapestry of Love series and can hardly wait to start reading!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed them and welcome to Alabama. I hope you enjoy the series.

  18. “No need to wonder,
    where you should go
    it’s on the Gulf of Mexico
    It’s a honeysuckle heaven,
    by the name of Mobile”.

  19. Thanks for the vintage pictures and information of my beloved Mobile!

  20. I know that I have written before but would like you to know that I was born in Mobile and lived there until i was twelve. Mom remarried and our stepfather move us to
    Mississippi. I will always call Mobile home and I visit as often as I can. I love ❤️ Mobile!!!!

  21. My grandmother on my fathers side was once the chief housekeeper of the City Hospital. Love these pictures. At 70, so many of these places were still there as I walked these streets with my mom and grandmother. Three Sisters for Easter dresses, Morrisons for lunch. At 19 , going to Battle House for gumbo on payday.

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