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Birding on Dauphin Island

Historic Fort Gaines

POA - Property
Owners' Association


Sand Island Light

Shell Mounds

Town of Dauphin Island-Municipal Government








Dauphin Island, AL
Archive of Historical Data, Books, Maps
And Other Materials

Yesterday's News
Mobile Press Register newspaper

1900-1950

Yesterday's News, "Today in History" Reprinted from Mobile Register, and other media. Following are "snippets" of the history of Dauphin Island and the lower Mobile Bay area, as taken from the Mobile Register normally found on page 2A, other publications and sources. (History editor's note: I have been saving these for years and reprinted at this location for those interested.)
Use of this material is for educadtional purposes only!




Tuesday, March 2, 1906 - Falling from the pier at Fort Gaines in some mysteriour manner, Max Burg, a German employed by the contractors working at Fort Gaines, was drowned Saturday night or early Sunday morning, his body being brought to this city (Mobile) and interred yesterday.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Tuesday, March 6, 1906, After a troubled nine-day voyage from Bocas del Toro to Mobile, the Norwegian steamer Fort Gaines, with Captain Jellum at the helm reached Mobile March 5. The "circular pump" kept breaking down, although hey were blessed by good weather, the captain said. The vessel carried 26,000 bunches of bananas and three passengers, Messrs, W. E. Turner, Carl Friese and Carl Locliger, who presented the captain a testimonial to his abilities and ingenuity, upon their arrival in Mobile. (Editor's note: the vessel was named in honor of the Fort located on the east end of Dauphin Island)
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Sunday, March 18, 1906 - Every vessel that was anchored in the lower bay for the past week waiting for favorable weather and winds to go to sea, took advantage of the norther that came out Friday, and those who witnessed their sailing below state it was a sight worth seeing as the sixteen vessels went to sea. They comprised barks, three-masted schooners and also a few steamers, and when they crossed the outer bar it was but a few hours until they were out of site.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Neils Nilsen** Awarded -- 21 May 1906 - On 1 December 1905, Neils Nilsen, keeper of the Sand Island Light Station, and a man named Harlan Hansen were going in a small sailboat from the light station to Fort Morgan, AL. Hansen fell overboard. Abandoning the boat, Nilsen went to Hansen's assistance and swam with him to the shore, nearly a mile distant. Hansen died, however, before Nilsen reached land.
Taken from US Coast Guard archives-30-

Thursday, July 19, 1906 - When the signal is given from the Ouatchiouan by Commodore F. G. Merrill this morning the following yachts will weigh anchor for the first annual cruise: Falcon, in command of Captain J. C. Bush, vice-commodore: Princess, Captain La Baron Lyons, fleet Captain; Scimitar in command of Captain D. R. Dunlap. These vessels will be manned by picked crews from members of the Mobile Yacht Club. To-night they will rendezvous at a point off Dauphin Island, where they will lay until in the morning.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Wednesday, August 1, 1906 - About 4:30 the Norwegian steamer Espana arrived up to the fruit wharf (Editor's note: Mobile, AL) with only master, engineer and the pilot. She was brought close enough to the docks to enable a few men to board her and handle lines, and after a few minutes' delay she was docked safely at the wharf and started to discharging her cargo….Captain Harry Murray, pilot, stated that the steamer arrived in the lower bay at noon and that he boarded her off Sand Island; that it was so rough outside and such heavy seas on the bar that the pilot boat was unable to get out.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Monday, August 27,1906 - The master of the barkentine Arthenia reports that on Sunday, August 19, when about 200 miles off Mobile Bar Sand Island Light, he spoke (with the crew of) the three-masted with all hands on board sick with fever. They reported the captain had died and was buried at sea, and that those of the crew that were well enough were trying to make Mobile light. She was bound to Scranton, Miss., her home port. This schooner is owned .. by Messrs. Dantzlers Bros., and they have sent the tug Dantzler to look for her and, if possible, bring her into port.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

(Editor's note: I couldn't resist reprinting this item) Mon, Sept. 24, 1906 - Last night at 8:46 o'clock a meteor of unusual brilliance appeared in the eastern sky, half way between the horizon and Zenith. Its course was from north to south, parallel to the horizon. It was pear-shaped and of clear white color, making a light that cast a shadow. It left a trail of fire behind it through its whole course.
Gasoline prices took a 2-cent reduction yesterday, bringing the price of high test fuel to 22 ½ cents per gallon and standard gasoline to 19 ½ cents.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

NOTE: The unnamed hurricane of 1906 crossed Dauphin Island Thursday, September 27, 1906. Look for details in the Hurricane section of these archives.

Monday, May 6, 1907 - Dauphin Island - The oyster season will close here on the 10th. Large freight schooners from Biloxi and other western ports have purchases load after load of the local product. This much appreciated by the oystermen as the two canning industries of this state were ruined by the gale last September.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Friday, January 10, 1908 - One of the first steps towards the deepening of our waterways, and one in which Mobile is particularly interested, has been taken by Dr. H.B. Rockwell. Thought his instrumentality, active measures have been started to deepen the channel through Grant's Pass. (historic editor's note: Pass was just north of Dauphin Island, at the north end of the present bridge) This little isthmus is the connecting link between Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound, and by deepening the channel to nine feet there will be opened up the "inside passage" between Mobile and New Orleans, and will render navigation between these two cities safe and practical.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Sunday, February 9, 1908 - Mobile pilots promise to figure materially in a fight on the halls of congress against the passage of Representative Littlefield's bill to abolish pilotage on all coastwise vessels in the county. A New York pilot is in Mobile for the purpose of gathering data to use against the bill. (History editor's note: The Mobile Bar Pilots set up operations on Dauphin Island in 1965. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Pilots rebuilt new pilot's housing and separate quarters for the boat captains and engineer quarters.)
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Wednesday, September 29, 1909 - Frederick White, merchant and oysterman of Dauphin Island, was in Mobile yesterday and says that the island was but little damaged by the recent storm and that all of the vessels anchored in the harbor rode the gale without injury. The gale being from the southeast, the sand dunes protected the habitable part of the island from the wind and waves. Mr. White reports that the soundins in the channel show that there was more water at the entrance of the channel that before the storm. Mr. White gave it as his opinion that the oyster season under the new law will be more prosperous for the Dauphin Islanders than for any other season since the storm in 1906, that there were more schooners engagerd in the trade than heretofore, and every outlook was encouraging.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Monday, Aug. 22, 1910 - Work is advancing steadily on the Dauphin Island harbor proposition and it is announced by the promoters of the movement that active operations will soon be started."
Compiled by Jeanette Lott from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Saturday, March 11, 1911 - Vice President Dewberry, of the Dauphin Island Railway and Harbor Company, is a guest at the Battle House. Mr. Dewberry is in Mobile on business relative to the construction of the company's new bridge from Cedar Point to Dauphin Island. Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

- NOTE: The Great Miami (Florida) Storm crossed Dauphin Island on September 21, 1926. For expanded details and pictures of the effects on the island, see the 1926 Storm in the Hurricane section of these archives.

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Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-


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Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

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Tuesday, November 01, 1919 -

Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Monday, May 22, 1930 - The proposed $1,100,000 bond issue for a free bridge to Dauphin Island would be legal despite contrary opinions expressed by persons opposed to it authorization by the electors on June 3. It was declared in an opinion received Tuesday by County Attorney James H. Webb from Chapman and Cutler, Chicago bond attorneys.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

October 10, 1930 - Resumption of school work at Dauphin Island in less than two months became unlikely at the meeting of the school board yesterday. The board authorized steps to promptly begin to prepare plans and obtain bids for the erection of a four-room frame building to replace that recently destroyed by fire. Efforts to arrange for reopening of the school in temporary quarters during the interval of construction had been unsuccessful.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Monday, November 3, 1930 - More than seventy guests enjoyed the boat excursion to Dauphin Island last week, which was conducted by Captains Earl and Clyde Bryant, on their twin boats, the 'Sweetheart' and 'Geane Bryant.' The merrymakers left Bayou La Batre about 3:30pm and the boats were anchored at West Point, where about half of the party went ashore and indulged in games and some went in bathing. Superintendnet W.C. Griggs, of the Mobile County schools, was a leader in the games, such as pop-the-whip, leap frog, etc.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Saturday, Feb. 14, 1931 - Retaining of an attorney to study various legislative measures was discussed at the meeting yesterday of the Mobile Real Estate association held at the Cawthon Hotel. It was decided to employ one at an early date, one of the duties being to study the legislation in regard to the Craft bill in connection with the erection of a bridge to Dauphin Island and another to study matters pertaining to the sale of the city wharf…. The association approved the idea of allowing people to plant gardens in vacant lots during the summer.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Saturday, July 11, 1931 - A devil fish weighting approximately 1,800 pounds was caught by a party of Mobile and Bayou la Batre men near Dauphin Island Thursday while a cameraman for the Fox news service made films of the struggle with the monster. It took three hours to land the big fish, and a man had to put out in a row boat to harpoon it a second time before it was subdued and towed to shore. In the party were J. T. Harrison, manager of the Bienville hotel; O. M. Phelps, general manager of the Mobile chamber of commerce; J. P. Muller, New Orleans, cameraman; Ed Zewin, secretary of the Bayou la Batre chamber of commerce and others from Bayou la Batre. The fishing was done from the Grover Cleveland.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Monday, August 17, 1931 - In quest of the thrill that comes from a test of science and endurance against that greatest of game fishes, the silvery tarpon, a small army was bivouacked last night at Fort Gaines, on the eastern end of Dauphin Island, from where a veritable fleet of fishing craft will put off into the surrounding coastal waters early of yesterday morning as Alabama's third annual deep sea rodeo formally opens. Premier event of its kind in the south, the fishing rodeo has already brought wide renown to the Alabama coast and its wealth fishing grounds, in which fishes of many species abound.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Wednesday, August 19, 1931 - Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Geron were among those attending the deep sea rodeo on Tuesday, inviting Mr. George T. Stanard and Mrs. J. L. Bedsole to be members of their party, motoring to Bayou La Batre, and there taking the steamer for Dauphin Island.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Thursday, August 20, 1931 - Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Ala., - S. Palmer Gaillard, Jr., of Mobile, tonight was the proud possessor of the prize for the first tarpon caught, a 58-pound silver king, that was the only one landed during the third annual Alabama deep sea rodeo.. Gaillard, fishing from the Sweetheart from Bayou La Batre, battled his tarpon for 45 minutes before he was reeled into the boat and gaffed.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Saturday, April 2, 1932 - Hopes of promoters for private interests on Dauphin Island apparently are near realization after expenditure of almost $1,000,000 by Mobile County in making the island accessible. A petition seeking the right to operate a boat service from Cedar Point, ferrying point to the island, was officially placed before the board of revenue at its Friday meeting. The petition was filed by Frank M. Collier, Jr., canning factory owner on the island.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Tuesday, May 10, 1932 - A ferry service to Dauphin Island from Cedar Point probably will start shortly after August 1, the approximate date on which County Engineer John R. Peavy expects completion of Cedar Point road to the tip of the mainland.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Monday, July 25, 1932 - More than 250 Mobilians visited Dauphin Island yesterday where they enjoyed surf bathing and s sea food feast, according to a report last night by Sam Lackland. The sea food dinner that consisted of fish, oysters, crabs and shrimp, was served by Frank Collier, who opened a ferry service to the island yesterday from Cedar Point. At one point there were more than 100 people in the surf, Mr. Lackland reported. A bath house was improvised with palms and palmettos, he said, where people changed their clothing.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Tuesday, July 26, 1932 - Object of a search by land, sea and air, four prominent Mobilians comprising a week-end fishing party were rescued early Monday afternoon in the open Gulf of Mexico, where they had been tossed..for nearly 24 hours after their small speedboat had become disabled. Those in the party- William B. Paterson, capitalist; his son Billy; Dick Luce, general manager of the Piggly-Wiggly chair of stores in Mobile, and Colonel Robert S. Thomas, United States district engineer - were returned to the city on a cruiser following their escape about four miles from Sand Island Lighthouse.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

August 17, 1932 - Schedule of the ferry service between Cedar Point and Dauphin Island was announced Tuesday afternoon.... The county receives five percent of the gross profits of the ferry under a franchise contract with Frank Collier of Dauphin Island. The fare was 50 cents each way on weekdays, and 50 cents per round trip on Sundays.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Friday, Sept. 2, 1932 - With two fishermen of Mobile and two Van Vleave, Miss, seamen missing, the tropical hurricane which swept inland yesterday after stampeding Mobile, left a grim record in its wake. Frank Benson, 18, after swimming thought the churning waters of Mobile Bay to the shore, where he gave the alarm of the sinking (of the Mobile owned schooner Live Oak), was rushed to Mobile Infirmary.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Tuesday, August 8, 1933 - A group of Mobile fishermen, bound for Dauphin Island to participate in the annual Deep Sea Fishing rodeo, were forced to leap overboard from their launch as it left the foot of Eslava Street Sunday when the gasoline tank exploded. Among those who leaped into the water to safety were Leo Bradley, Joe Holberg and Harwell Dowell.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Saturday, October 14, 1933 - Approximately 213 delegates to the Alabama Sheriffs and Peace Officers convention were marooned aboard the steamer Eastern Shore about 150 feet north of the Dauphin Island pier Friday night after the bay boat ran aground on a bar while returning the visitors to the city from an excursion to the island.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Friday, October 27, 1933 - Mobile Mayor R. V. Taylor will be confined to his home for several days as a result of injuries received Wednesday afternoon when dismounting from an automobile at Cedar Point while en route to Dauphin Island with members of the state advisory board of the public works administration and out-of-town hotel men. An X-ray examination early Thursday morning disclosed that no bones were broken in the mayor's fall, and the extent of his injuries was a sprained hip.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Sunday, November 26, 1933 - Do you remember when, where and who caught the world's largest tarpon?...The big fish was landed in September 1916, was caught in the waters of Mobile Bay, at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, and was landed by W.G. Oliver, Birmingham business man.... The tarpon measured 6 feet, 11 inches in length and weighed 215 pounds.
Compiled by Cammie East Cowan from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Sunday, December 24, 1933 - A partyt of three anglers, two of them women, made a catch of 150 pounds of sheep-head and redfish today at Fort Gaines. The fish were caught with lines thrown from the end of the pier at hte fort hotel. So good was the biting that the total of 150 pounds was caught in three hours. Those in the party were Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Stack and Mrs. W. H. Askew.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Tuesday, February 13, 1934 - Mobile will join Pensacola in celebrating the opening of the new inland waterway, which extends from Mobile Bay, and Dauphin Island waters, to the Florida city, for Mobile is as deeply interested in the new water-course as Pensacola, and ought to derive much benefit from it, Mobile, in the heart of what has been colled the American Riviera, is in sympathy with progressive movements in all these coast cities and is glad to see them prosper in well being. Inland waterway betterments on this coast, no matter where they are made, will be helpful to all Gulf Coast communities.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Friday, March 23, 1934 - Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan, guardians of the entrance to Mobile Bay, will be inspected today and Sunday by a group of PWA and CWA officials investigating the possibility of development in line with President Roosevelt's spread-the-work policies. The visitors headed by Mayor Robert Crawford of Washington, assistant department administrator of the PWA, arrived in Mobile yesterday afternoon by plane and auto from Montgomery and Birmingham and were carried to Cedar Point, from where they boarded boats to Dauphin Island. The visit is in connection with the country's application for a $1,005,000 PWA loan with which to build a bridge to Dauphin Island and plans of the government for development of a transient bureau at Fort Morgan. Among those invited as members of the officail party ... were: W.J. Plunkert, chief of the southern division of the government's transient bureau; Theodore Swann, Alabama airport advisor; A.J. Hawkins, regional airport advisor; Thad Holt, Alabama administrator for the CWA; Col. Sumpter Smith, Alabama commander of the national guard air corps. Frank W. Boykin is head of the committee on arrangements on arrangements and was appointed by Mayor R. V. Taylor.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Monday, May 28, 1934 - Caught in a heavy squall while returning from a pleasure trip to Dauphin Island, a party of 16 Mobilians yesterday narrowly escaped disaster as their craft, the Memphire, was skillfully piloted through a devastating hailstorm, wind and rain, which caused slight injuries of two of the group and threatened at times to overturn the boat. The injured: Captain R.L. Ford, whose mastery of his craft was credited with saving the lives of those in the party. He received bruises about the face and body as a result of being struck by hailstones. Miss Dorothy Broughton, 204 South Ann Street, bruises about the face and body from falling hailstones. Floyd McKenzie, slight bruises. Practically the entire superstructure of the boat was torn away by the waves, wind and hail. Out of gratefulness to Captain Ford, members of the party took up a collection for the captain upon their safe arrival at Bayou La Batre. First aid treatment was given the injured by Dr. Stephen F. Hale; a member of the party had spent Saturday night on the island, and were returning to Bayou La Batre when the squall broke about five miles from the island.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Wednesday, May 30, 1934 - The Coast Guard cutter was still working Tuesday afternoon trying to move the motorboat Sea Horse off shore at Sand Island, the boat having been grounded there in the storm Sunday. The boat is from Week's Bay.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Friday, June 1, 1934 - Inauguration of a weekend patrol for the protection of life and property in lower Mobile bay and the gulf in the near future was announced by coast guard officials Monday, following the heavy hail, wind and rain squalls which raked those sections Sunday resulting in the disabling of four local craft and endangering the lives of approximately 50 persons.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-


Saturday, June 23, 1934 - Special efforts will be made this year to enlarge the seafood menu during the Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo off Dauphin Island. That is a good plan. Seafoods are a great Mobile asset, a great Gulf Coast asset. Visitors, who come to Mobile, or to any of these coast communities, are delighted with them, for they are fresh, sweet and whole-some.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-


Saturday, August 25, 1934 - A delightful trip was injoyed last Sunday when the boat of Nick Johnson 'Edna B' was sailed to Dauphin Island. The party left Bayou La Batre at midnight Saturday and returned at 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Fishing, games an singing were enjoyed aboard the ship. A dip into the gulf completed this delightful affair. Those who composed the party were: the Misses Melone, Eloise and Bessie Miles, Laura and Dorthy De Geer, Ida Lee Williams, Dorothy Noel and Edward and Charles Bosarge, Feaster Deakle, Jack Nelson and Wilson Johnson.
Compiled by Linde Lenz-Britt from issues of the Press-Register -30-

Wednesday, August 7, 1935 - The Mobile city commission, at its weekly meeting Tuesday approved a resolution by Commissioner Charles A. Baumhauer calling for construction of a clubhouse and yacht haven on Dauphin island at a cost of approximately $25,000, with capacity to accommodate 1,000 persons
Compiled by Jeanette Lott from issues of the Press-Register -30-

October 18,1948 - DI Bridge considered.

Copied and saved from the Mobile Press Register -30-



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

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