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Dauphin Island, AL
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Taken from the Points South section
Specail people make the island special,
and the result is a special kind of holiday

Dauphin Island
Countdown to 1999

Thursday December 7, 1995
By JIMMIE MORRIS, Special Report

Jimmie Morris, Pres. DI Chamber of Commerce
It is all because of special people, that we have suggested in previous columns or news releases, the December is a very special month on Dauphin Island. We do so again.

For instance, the Sounds of the Season Concert by members of the DI Choral Society sets just the right tone for the season of which it sings. Beginning with pianist and director John Hobbs, Jr., we thank these vocalists: Mary Jim Brown, Nancy Cox, Nannette Davidson, Rebecca Dickey, John Dismukes, Marge Geddie, Vergil Hawley, Theo Hawkins, Billy Heath, Francis Heath, Gill Hobbs, Donna Linden, Alice Little, Mary Ann McKinney, Ginny Pinegar, Rick Pinegar, Dana Roberts, Jim Robinson, Ree Scott, Ginger Simpson, Mary Thompson, Billy Turner and Virginia Yeager.

As switches are thrown and holiday lights turn Water Tower Plaza into a fairyland, we compliment the members of the Light Up Dauphin Island Committee: chairman Julene Taylor, and co-chairman Mary Thompson; and those heading up these committees; yard sale, Doris Anderson and Mary Lou Turner and all islanders who contributed items; home light up contest, George Eisel; route for judges, Frances Young; reception for judges, Maureen Lieder and Vera Munday; decorations, Mable Boone and Bobbie Meade; treasurer, Josephine Eisel; and some nice people not mentioned in an earlier listing, Nelda Manning, Dorothy Hays and Hallie McMurphy.

We appreciate the effort which will be expended by contest judges Missy Cummins, Ken Callon and Todd Redmen, non-island residents.

On behalf of the committee, this column serves to thank the Mobile Jaycees for use of their rodeo property for the yard sale.

Light Up Dauphin Island poster contest chairman Jessie Sweetser and her committee of Beverly Morris, Barbara Louis-Williams, and Mary Thompson, point with pride to the students of the DI Elementary School and their grade levels who received first-place awards for their creativity: best overall, Kate Pose, 2: Camrey Overstreet; Savannah Collier, 2: Allen Crosswhite, 3; Cory Cumberland, 4; and T.J. Esfeller, 5.

The selection of Miss Dauphin Island and the Santa Claus street parade will be produced by Wanda Sandagger, Machelle Steiner, and Syble Piovanich, with these key people: Donna Beasley, , Milton Yeager, Julie Dugan, Melanie Munday and Rhonda and Jill Mallon.

We salute the staff of Fort Gaines, Melinda Johnson and Sharlene Moats, who will bring a touch of the season with their 11th annual Christmas at the Fort this weekend, where you will experience an 1861 Christmas, as did the Confederate garrison when stationed at the fort during the first Christmas of the Civil War Enjoy the mood of a candlelight tour. Call 861-6992.

The countdown to the 300th anniversary of the 1699 island landing of Bienville and Iberville on Dauphin Island, which would become their anchor colony for the establishment of Fort Louis de la Louisianae (Mobile) and other French colonies of the Louisiana Territory, is under way by the DI 300 Committee, Marti Harding, president, and the DI Tricentennial Celebration Board, Fred Rounsaville, chairman. Thus the title for this column.

Three years of aggressive planning of a year-long celebration will get underway Thursday, January 11th, when the DI Tricentennial Celebration Board meets in Town Hall at 7:00pm to establish dialog, and to review its mission.

In the meantime, we step back in time.

1702-1718 - The historian Du Pratz, who knew the connection between Dauphin Island and Fort Mobile, called Mobile the birthplace and Dauphin Island the cradle of the colony of Louisiana. In many respects, the island was Mobile. Its anchorage being the port of the capitol of Louisiana, which was Mobile from 1702 until 1718, Dauphin Island developed into the nerve center of the colony.

It communicated with the Spanish Ports Vera Cruz and Havana, and with French posts in the upper Mississippi Valley, as well as the sugar island of St. Dominque, now Haiti. So important did Dauphin Island become that by mid-summer 1707, Ponchartrain, the Minister of Marine, gave a new governor, De Muy, the power to move the fort to the island.

Perhaps fate had a hand in preventing the move, for Governor De Muy, carrying instruction to consider such a move, died in Havana before he ever reached the colony.

Fort Gaines Sand Island Light House Shell Mounds on Dauphin Island Dauphin Island History Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium

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