Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mobile, AL

Downtown Mobile has Fort Conde. Demolished in 1923, it was rebuilt with 1/3 of the original fort structure at 4/5 scale in 1976 as part of Mobile's Bicentennial celebration.

This was the visitor center and gift shop. I don't think this was part of the original fort.

Fort Conde as it appears today.

Inside the museum they had a lot of history on Mardi Gras. Mobile claims to be the first city in the U.S. to celebrate Mardi Gras. Although celebrated prior to the civil war, it was popularized after the war by Joe Cain, a citizen who drove his wagon down main street in celebration of Mardi Gras. Today Mardi Gras is celebrated for several weeks, with several large parades, the biggest on the Sunday prior to Fat Tuesday.

Fort Conde was originally built on this site in 1723 by the French, who originally settled Mobile. The original settlement, in 1702, was located up the bay. In 1711 the settlement moved to its present location and a wooden fort was built and named Fort Louis after French's King Louis XIV. In 1723 they rebuilt the fort using bricks and renamed it Fort Conde after the King's brother-in-law.
From 1763-1780 the English ruled Mobile and the fort was renamed to Fort Charlotte.
The Spanish took over from 1780-1813 and the fort was named Fort Carlotta.
In 1813, the U.S. took over and the fort was named again Fort Charlotte. But around 1820 it was determined there was no longer any use for the fort and it was demolished.
Another fort in the area was Fort Morgan, located on Gulf Shore at the entrance of the bay to Mobile. This fort was built in 1833. It was under siege in August 1864, one of the later battles in the civil war.

This is actually part of Battery Duportail, an addition built in 1899. Down in the hollow was mounted a 12 inch rifled fun which could shoot over 8 1/2 miles.

The original Fort Morgan with its dry moat and scarpment. You could only get to the outer scarpment through a tunnel from the fort. Anyone trying to attack through the moat would face crossfire from the fort and the scarpment.

Battery Duportail was built on the parade ground of Fort Morgan. It was quite ugly compared to the architecture of the actual fort.

One of the 12 inch rifled guns. It was considered a disappearing gun because it was raised to fire and lowered to load. Compared to the 32 pounder smooth bore cannons used during the civil war, which could only fire about 1 mile, this was quite an innovation. The rifled gun is also what made all the brick and mortar forts obsolete. The rifled guns pounded so much greater, the forts could not withstand the barrage of cannon fire.

Fort Morgan was maintained by the Alabama State Historical Society (or something like that). I found it to be one of the worst maintained forts I've been to yet. Here you can see stalactites handing from the ceiling of the bricks.

And below is the beginning of a stalagmite. And I always thought stalactites and stalagmites only grew in caves.

Their always seems to be a festival going on somewhere down here. Daphne, AL, was celebrating the Jubilee Festival.

And we got to visit with a friend (who is also an RVer) who still has a house in Mobile.


Barbara and Ron said...

Are you staying East forever?

ladynomad said...

Almost forever. I'll be out in Arizona in December.

Peter @ Enviroman said...

Hi LadyNomad,

Thanks for leaving a comment in my post Backup and restore blog with export/import. I have responded to your comment.