Mobile Alabama is the seat of Mobile County. It is located on Mobile Bay and is Alabama’s only saltwater port. Mobile is also located on the Mobile River. About 26% of the city is covered in water.
Mobile is located on the Gulf Coast, now called the “third coast” after the East Coast and West Coast. Mobile is the largest city between New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Mobile Alabama covers 160 square miles.
Mobile Alabama is the wettest city in the main 48 states. It averages 120 days of rain, though snow is rare.
Mobile has been hit by multiple hurricanes. Mobile was hit by Hurricane Frederic in 1979. Hurricane Opal hit in 1995. Hurricane Ivan arrived in 2004. Mobile was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, though not as bad as New Orleans because the lowest parts of the city are just above sea level, while there were several wards in New Orleans actually below sea level alongside the river.
It has a population of roughly 200,000 in the city limits. Another 200,000 live in the suburbs of Mobile. It is the third largest city in the state of Alabama. Almost a million people live within a sixty mile radius of the city.
Mobile’s economy has centered on the port. During World War 2, the shipyards in Mobile were producing T2 tankers, destroyers, freighters and minesweepers. Several military bases were also built around Mobile. Brookley Air Force Base was closed in 1969, leaving ten percent of the population unemployed. The ports and shipbuilding saw a resurgence in the 1980s. Mobile, Alabama is now the twelfth largest port in the U.S. Austral USA, an Australian shipbuilding company, has quarters in Mobile employing four to five thousand people in Mobile. ThyssenKrupp has a steel processing plant near Mobile. The school district, though, is the largest single employer. Infirmary Health Systems and Providence Hospital together. rival it in total employment.
A major employer is the University of South Alabama. Faulkner College, University of Mobile and Spring Hill College are others. Bishop State Community College is a historically black university also located in Mobile with several campuses.
Arts and Attractions
Mobile has an opera, a symphony, a ballet company and several art museums. Mobile hosts Mardi Gras every spring, though it probably doesn’t exceed the party in New Orleans.
Mobile is home of the Battleship USS Alabama, now a tourist attraction. The USS Drum, a WW2 submarine, is located in Battleship Memorial Park alongside it.
Several Civil War museums and state parks are located in and around Mobile.
The city is named for the Mobile tribe that lived in the area when the French first arrived. They may or may not be related to the Mabila who attacked Hernando de Soto on his 1540 expedition.
The port was originally a French trading post.
Mobile was the capital of French Louisiana in 1702. The French capital moved to Biloxi in 1720. In 1763, the French ceded Mobile and its surrounding land to the British as part of Florida. The Spanish took it over in 1780 and renamed the fort Fortaleza Carlota. Mobile became part of the United States when taken over during the War of 1812. Mobile became part of the U.S. in 1813.
At that point, the town had dwindled to only 300 people. When Mississippi gained statehood, Mobile was part of the Alabama territory.
The city was incorporated as a U.S. town in 1814 and as a city in 1819. Mobile was a Confederate city during the American Civil War.
Mobile Alabama was once called the “Paris of the South”.
The first submarine to sink an enemy ship was built in Mobile. It was called the H.L. Hunley.
It is thought that the fire ant was accidentally imported to the U.S. via the Port of Mobile around 1930.