Theodore, Alabama

Day 805

     Theodore, Alabama, is named for William Theodore Hieronymous, born December 11, 1889 in Mobile, Alabama. I guess they did not want to name a village Hieronymous. This is a suburb of Mobile. We also stayed here on Day 529.

     We strolled through Mobile, Alabama, stopping at the Mardi Gras Museum.

     Mardi Gras is the oldest annual Carnival celebration in the United States. Started by Frenchman Nicholas Langlois in 1703, when Mobile was the capital of Louisiana (see Day 281). This was fifteen years before New Orleans was founded.

     The Mobile, Alabama, Carnival Museum possess a wealth of dazzling attire worn by Mardi Gras kings and queens. The museum is housed in the Bernstein-Bush Manson, built in 1872 for Henry Bernstein, a boot and shoe dealer. The house was once owned by John Bush, who served as mayor of Mobile from 1897-1900, hence the name.

     The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was erected in 1839.

     It houses the oldest religious community in the State of Alabama, with it’s parish established in 1703 by John-Baptiste de la Croix, Bishop of Québec. 

     For 33 years, beginning in 1780, Mobile was governed by Spain. To honor this, this fountain and plaza was erected.

     I have no idea what this is. It was in front of an unidentified building, but it looks cool. 

     Continuing our stroll through Mobile, we come to The Mobile Mardi Gras Park. Dedicated to, guess what?

     Across the street was the Southern Market and Old City Hall, which now houses the Museum of Mobile.

     Completed in 1856, the building was used as a city hall and public market, a combination popular in Europe at the time. The government was run from the upstairs offices of the building, while the ground floor housed a fish market (we are right on Mobile Bay), grocery store, fruit stands, meat stalls, and two saloons. Horse drawn carriages could access the market along driveways that ran through the building. On September 12, 1979 the building became uninhabitable when Hurricane Frederic devastated Mobile. It took three and a half years to restore the building. In 2001 the building became the home of the Museum of Mobile, but the City Council still meets here once a year to maintain the unique status as the oldest continually used city hall in the United States.

     Inside the foyer was “Marianne” or The Goddess of Liberty, which use to stand on top of the 1889 Mobile County Courthouse. Damaged in the hurricane of 1916, she was disassembled and placed in storage until rescued by the Museum in 1970. She stands 18.5 feet tall on a 5 ft. pedestal.

     At this intersection, which separates Mardi Gras Park and the Southern Market and Old City Hall, the Order of Myths held Mobile’s first Mardi Gras parade on Shrove Tuesday, February 25, 1868.

     Continuing our stroll down the street to Mobile Bay, we come to the site of various forts by the Spanish, French, and Americans over the 160 year span from 1703 to 1865. The replica of the French Fort Condē, which stood here from 1724-1735, was a disappointment.

     They did preserve a vestige of Fort Condē, the only architectural remains of Colonial Mobile. 

     Well, I guess that is enough for one day. Tomorrow, if the weather is nice, we will go to Dauphin Island, which sits in the middle of Mobile Bay. The following day we leave for New Orleans to spend Thanksgiving with Barbara’s brother and family. 

Technical Stuff:

Auburn, Alabama to Theodore, Alabama: 237.0 miles

4 hours 54 minutes

10.6 MPG

Diesel: $2.81


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