ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Gulf Shores, Alabama
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores, Alabama
The condos and hotels of Gulf Shores rise in the
distance over the Gulf Coast of Alabama. A popular
beach resort, the city sits in an area rich in history.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
A walkway leads across the
dunes and down to the white
sand beach and sparking
water of Gulf Shores.
Gulf State Park
A deck overlooks the water
from one of the cottages at
Gulf State Park. The beautiful
park features spectacular
scenery and nature galore.
Gulf Shores, Alabama - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Food, Fun & Gulf Coast History!
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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Fort Morgan
The brick walls of Fort Morgan
have been assaulted by war,
time and hurricanes, but the
old fort still stands strong on
Mobile Point.
Fresh Gulf Seafood
Gulf Shores and the Alabama
Gulf Coast are famous for
their outstanding seafood,
including some of the best
shrimp in the world.
Gulf Shores is a popular family friendly resort
city on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Like many Gulf Coast cities, Gulf Shores is a
place where on most days visitors far out
number residents. Along with neighboring
Orange Beach, the city offers 15,000 hotel
rooms. That equals out to roughly one for
every man, woman and child living in the two

In addition, thousands of people own condos
and vacation homes in the area. It is one of
the most visited areas of the South.

Please click here for more information on
hotel and condo rental availability.

The primary attractions, of course, are the
white sand beaches and sparkling blue
waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf State Park
offers public beach access, as well as picnic,
areas, freshwater lakes, hiking, camping,
picnicking, geocaching, cabins and cottages.

Fishing charters are big business in Gulf
Shores and Orange Beach with a variety of
types available. The local marinas also serve
as home ports for vessels offering dolphin,
diving and sightseeing cruises. Gulf Shores
& Orange Beach Tourism (the local visitor
information service) lists more than 140
charter and cruise services.
Please click
here for more information.

The Alabama Gulf Coast is one of the most
historic regions of the South. It was popular
with prehistoric Native Americans for fishing
and food gathering long before the first
European explorers arrived on the coast.

Exactly when the first Europeans arrived in
the Gulf Shores is a hotly debated topic. Most
professional historians and archaeologists
believe that the Spanish first came here
during their explorations of the Gulf of Mexico
during the early 1500s. They named Mobile
Bay after the Mabila tribe of Indians that lived
upriver from the head of the bay.

Others, however, believe in an old legend
that holds Prince Madoc, a Welsh nobleman,
set foot on the white sand beaches in 1170

The Madoc story is not given much credence
by scholars, but holds that the roaming
prince set sail from his homeland in Wales
after he became disgusted with continued
warfare there. Seeking a place of peace, he
sailed west across the Atlantic and into the
Gulf of Mexico.

Landing at Mobile Bay, the legend continues,
Prince Madoc realized it was an excellent
place for a colony. He supposedly left behind
100 men there while he sailed back to Wales
to bring families to the newly discovered land.

The prince put together a fleet of ten ships,
all loaded with men, women and children. He
was last seen sailing west over the horizon
and never returned to his homeland again.

The Madoc legends are an important part of
Alabama and Southern culture and folklore.
His presence has been claimed at sites,
many of them now known to be Native
American in origin, throughout the region.

The best known alleged Madoc sites in
Alabama are Mobile Point near Gulf Shores
DeSoto Falls in Mentone.
Historic Sites of Mobile Bay
The Madoc legend aside, the white sand
beaches and dunes of the Gulf Shores area
were definitely seen by the Spanish during
the early and middle 1500s. They were
followed by the French, who raised their flag
across the bay on
Dauphin Island during the
early 1700s.

The French, in turn, surrendered the area to
the British at the end of the French and Indian
War in 1763. The English held Mobile Bay for
only 17 years, however, losing it to Spain in
Battle of Fort Charlotte at Mobile in 1780.

The area became part of the short-lived
Republic of West Florida in 1810, but before
the forces of the republic could move on
Mobile Bay, the United States intervened. The
U.S. carried out a bloodless invasion of the
fledgling republic and in 1813 seized
Charlotte (formerly Fort Conde) at Mobile
from its Spanish garrison.

The United States fortified Mobile Point by
building Fort Bowyer there in 1813-1814. The
Battle of Fort Bowyer on September 15, 1814,
was a major engagement of the War of 1812.
Defeated British forces passed through what
is now Gulf Shores after the fight.

Seeing the need for permanent defenses of
Mobile Bay, the U.S. began Fort Morgan on
the site of Fort Boyer in 1819 and later built
Fort Gaines across the bay on Dauphin
Island.  Both forts were seized by Alabama
troops in 1861 and became Confederate
strongholds, only to fall to Federal forces
following the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.
The Federal XIII Corps crossed the site of
Gulf Shores in 1865 during the Mobile

Much more peaceful today, Gulf Shores is a
favorite family destination. In addition to the
beaches and Gulf, families enjoy prowling
through old Fort Morgan, exploring nature
and enjoying a variety of coastal activities.

Please click here to learn more.