As Alabama’s only seaport, Mobile has long served as a major shipping center for the Heart of Dixie. Since the city’s humble beginnings as a trading center between Native Americans and the French, the port has played a significant role in the city’s economy, culture and history. Today, Metropolitan Mobile is home to more than 400,000 inhabitants, and the city’s harbor is viewed not only as a magnet for commerce but as an attraction that offers multiple opportunities for water sports and recreation too.
The first 100 years of Mobile’s history was marked by power struggles between competing colonial interests. The city was founded in 1702 as Fort Louis de la Louisiane, the first capital of French Louisiana. A series of floods coupled with outbreaks of disease forced the city’s relocation to its present site in 1711, and Fort Louis was built to fortify the location. When Biloxi became the French capital in 1720, Mobile assumed the role as a military center, and the fort was renamed as Fort Condé.
The strategic fort remained at the center of Mobile’s history as it passed into the hands of the British in 1763 and to the Spanish in 1780. The United States seized the fort during the War of 1812. A reconstruction of Fort Condé now sits on the fort’s original site, an 11-acre area of land that is also home to the History Museum of Mobile. Both structures offer visitors a rare glimpse of life in the South during colonial times.
Mobile’s Military History
Mobile was an important city during the Civil War; the Battle of Mobile Bay was one of the war’s most significant conflicts. The city’s greatest increase in population came in World War II when workers flocked to the city’s shipyards and military forces trained at Brookley Air Force Base. Today, the former air field is known as Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley and has been transformed into 4 million square feet of industrial space, employing more than 3,600 people in the aerospace industry.
The Original Home of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras has been celebrated in Mobile since 1703, and the annual Carnival is still one of the city’s main attractions. Over the course of the city’s 300-year history, Mobile’s cultural mix of French, Creole and Spanish heritage transformed a ceremonial French Catholic tradition into a raucous celebration. For two weeks each year, the city’s historic downtown district is turned into a festival of parades, music and merriment.
Nearly 80,000 households populate Mobile today, with an average family size of three people. Around 65,000 students are enrolled in the Mobile County Public School System, and the city has dozens of private campuses and colleges as well. Around one quarter of the city’s adult population have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Mobile’s main businesses include aerospace, manufacturing, retail and construction.
As a major cultural center on the Gulf Coast, Mobile boasts a symphony orchestra, multiple art museums and several professional opera and dance companies. Can’t-miss cultural centers include the Mobile Civic Center, which features an arena, theater and exposition hall, and the Saenger Theatre, a nearly 100-year-old structure originally built as a movie palace. From fishing and hunting to yachting and bird watching, Mobile offers a wide range of outdoor activities as well. The city’s dozens of scenic parks and gardens, including the gorgeous 900-acre Bellingrath Gardens helped earn Mobile the nickname “The Azalea City.”
Air Specialty Heating and Air Conditioning Service in Mobile
Serving Mobile and the surrounding communities since 1993, Air Specialty is a leading provider of quality HVAC products and services for the area’s homes and businesses and for the port’s ships, boats and drill rigs as well. As a full-service contractor, we’re equipped to handle every project, from an emergency air conditioning repair to a complete commercial installation.
At Air Specialty, our commitment to hard work and exceptional customer service drives everything that we do. Whether performing preventative maintenance on a residential air conditioner or installing a refrigeration system on a Navy vessel, we never forget that quality work and craftsmanship is the key to our continued success in Mobile.