Jan 10, 2013 - Personal    No Comments

Mobile Detour and the Oakleigh House

Mobile has never been on my list of must-see places, but it felt wrong to just drive through it tomorrow.

So from Pensacola Beach, I headed west on I-10 to visit the charming little city on the Gulf. I had picked one attraction see, the Oakleigh House, and it wound up being the perfect choice as I got a ton of local history from the full-of-information-but-very-inarticulate guide.

She started by explaining how Mobile was founded by a French-Canadian explorer. The story she told sounded familiar but the pronunciation of his name was so twisted that I couldn’t put two and two together.

It wasn’t until the very end of the tour that we were shown a picture of Mobile’s founder and I was able to go “OH!” I recognized him right away as being Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. I grew up near Iberville, QC. It’s a small continent!

Mobile is the French attempt at pronouncing the name of a local Native American tribe, the Mobilian or Movilian.

Oakleigh house used to be of the raised veranda type, built on pillars, but with the ground floor area eventually enclosed. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures of the inside and the exterior pictures didn’t come out at all. I guess I was too enthralled by the story being told!

I wandered around the neighbourhood after to look at the grand old southern houses, but nothing that the guides had suggested (parks, churches) sounded worth the detour so, being rather tired from all that wading and frolicking in the Gulf of Mexico, I headed home.

The core of Mobile seems very walkable. I would not drive an RV in Mobile because of the narrow streets, low hanging branches, and tunnels.

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