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Birding on Dauphin Island

Historic Fort Gaines

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Shell Mounds

Town of Dauphin Island-Municipal Government

Dauphin Island, AL
Archive of Historical Data, Books, Maps
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Yesterday's News
Mobile Press Register newspaper

2000 - Present

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. Copies of data retrieved from other media, such as TV and magazines. (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!

Wednesday May 23, 2001 - Montgomery - Imagine dragging up the whole lower end of Mobile County - complete with a truckload of seafood - and hauling it to Montgomery for a fish fry.
Imagine inviting the governor, the lieutenant governor, the entire legislature and just about anybody else who wants to come, and you'll have some idea of the scope of the annual Seafood Bash put on by the Bayou LaBatre and Dauphin Island Chambers of Commerce.
In a town where parties are as thick as lobbyists on a legislator, this event stands out as the best of its kind. In fact, there's no affair to rival it.
More than 700 people showed up for the May 9 bash, and none of them went home hungry. The porportions for a party of this magnitude are staggering: *125 pounds of boiled shrimp; * 100 pounds of fried shrimp; * 30 pounds of grilled shrimp; * 12 gallons of fried oysters; * 4 gallons of boiled oysters; * 4 sacks of oysters on the half shell; * 100 pounds of fried mullet fillets; * 60-pound ling; * West Indies Salad(15 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat and 15 pounds of peeled and deviened Royal Red Shrimp); *60 pounds breaded scallops; *30 pounds breaded stuffed jalapeno peppers; * 100 pounds boiled crawfish.
by David Holloway, Food Editor, Bay Flavor section (excerpt) Press-Register -30-

May 9, 2006 - MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said he supports Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco's veto of a proposed offshore natural gas port over concerns that fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico could be harmed. Blanco had until Sunday to file any objections to a proposed federal license for the Main Pass Energy Hub, a liquefied natural gas terminal being sought by Freeport McMoRan Energy LLC, a subsidiary of New Orleans-based McMoRan Exploration Company.
Press-Register -30-

June 11, 2006 - The berm -- which is to replace one built after Hurricane Georges in 1998 and flattened by Tropical Storm Isidore in 2002 -- is a big topic of conversation among both absentee owners and the 1,500 full-time residents of Dauphin Island, which was cut in half by Katrina. FEMA said $44.1 million has been paid to settle 881 flood insurance claims on Dauphin Island since Katrina, and an additional $16.2 million was paid on 777 claims after Ivan. Separately, FEMA says the island got $9.4 million to repair roads, sewers and other public works after the two storms. All this for 1,500 year-round residents and hundreds more with rental or vacation homes on the island.
Jay Reeves, The Washington Post - Washington, D.C. -30-

Thursday, August 03, 2006 - Mobile County officials appear to be in line to receive $2.5 million in federal funds, dedicated to buying land for conservation on Dauphin Island. Now the county just needs to figure out where to spend it. County Commissioner Mike Dean said the money originally was to be spent buying undeveloped land on the west end of Dauphin Island and using it for public access to the beach. Now county officials are considering using the money to purchase about 20 acres of dunes and undeveloped land west of the Isle Dauphine Golf Club to use as a bird sanctuary and nature trail. U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, heads the subcommittee that crafted the spending bill that includes the $2.5 million.
By DAN MURTAUGH and RUSS HENDERSON Staff Reporters, Mobile Register -30-

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - Dauphin Island - It's place where majestic brown pelicans swoop throught the sky, searching for dinner or a new place to perch. It's a place where traffic lights don't clutter the scenery, where you can ride a bike for miles or sample fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood at a handful of local eateries.
While Hurricane Katrina redistributed much of the west end's sand and property nearly two years ago, there are still homes, condos and hotel rroms available for rent here.
There's also plenty to do to keep a family busy. There's historic Fort Gaines to explore, sea life to discover at the Estuarium, home-grown produce to sample at a Saturday darmer's market at Cadillac Square, fish to catch at Cedar Point or kites to fly a the public beach.
Besides hosting one of the country's top fishing rodeos and the world's lopngest one-day sailboat
race, Dauphin Island remains a mostly quiet strip of sand and tall pines about three miles off the coast of south Alabama. It's located about 35 miles south of Mobile.
By CASANDRA ANDREWS, Staff Reporter, Living section, Mobile Register -30-

Saturday, September 08, 2007 - Dauphin Island beach project excluded from coastal funding list. A group of local elected officials gathered on Dauphin Island on Friday to protest a state plan that funds fishing pier and boat-slip construction in Baldwin County, yet ignores a Dauphin Island plea for a $3.3 million project that would protect the island's water supply from erosion. "In my view, there are no communities in Alabama more directly affected by the oil and gas industry than those in south Mobile County," said Rep. Spencer Collier, R-Bayou La Batre. "Dauphin Island's beach project should be included, and I'll do whatever I can to make sure it is." Last week, state conservation officials announced a draft list of projects they plan to submit for a slice of the $51 million in federal funds that Alabama and its two coastal counties stand to receive through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program. The program is intended to compensate states for the effects of offshore oil and gas drilling. Though natural gas platforms surround Dauphin Island, visible from almost anywhere, the island's requested funding was absent from the draft list.
By RUSS HENDERSON, Staff Reporter, Mobile Register -30-

Friday, April 25, 2008 - Dauphin Island Regatta Making A Comeback.... Paul Ring is ready to set sail. He's one of dozens of sailors getting his vessel in ship shape for the regatta. He calls his boat "The pole cat." "Because it's a cat boat and it has a mast as a pole and I thought it would be a good idea to call it a pole cat," says Ring. The regatta's going through a bit of a renaissance this season. Organizers say they're finally seeing the number of boats entering the race return to pre-Katrina levels. The golden anniversary draws several out of state boaters. "We have boats coming from Georgia from Tennessee, course Mississippi and Florida," says Fairhope Yacht Club Commodore Erik Schmidt. Engines are just used to get us out of the dock. Come tomorrow, sailors will keep one finger in the air. "The challenge could be no wind or too much wind you never know what dauphin island is going to bring to you," says Principle Race Officer Cathy Cromartie. This is a very subtle sport but when the guys get into the race it's more about the fun than the competition. "We have friendly competition and then we get down to dauphin island to see who can tell the best stories," says Ring. The 17 nautical mile race starts Saturday morning and organizers hope to welcome several newcomers.
By Chad Petri, WKRG-TV -30-

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - The Sand Island Lighthouse sits about four miles south of Dauphin Island. It's aging, not gracefully. "If we had another Katrina I can't see how it would survive," says Alabama Lighthouse Association board member Jim Hall. Dauphin Island has secured about $650,000 dollars of FEMA money to stabilize it. The building's a tube fastened by a metal ring at the top and the base. "The lighthouse at the base the bricks are laid in excess of about 6 feet thick," says Hall. With GPS and a whole bunch of other modern hardware there really is no need for a lighthouse but enthusiasts say it's more of a sentimental feeling to see that on a return trip. "I can assure you when the fishermen from offshore when they're finally coming in they see the lighthouse they feel good, they know they're in the right place," says Hall.
By Chad Petri, WKRG-TV -30-

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 -Friends and family turned out Monday at St. Francis Episcopal Church to pay final respects to Ben M. Buerger, an iconic Dauphin Island businessman perhaps best known for riding out Hurricane Frederic in his store. Buerger, 84, a native of Mobile and a longtime resident of Belle Fontaine, died Friday at an area hospital. He had owned and operated Ship and Shore Supplies Inc. on Dauphin Island since 1956. The store became a focal point on the island and sold everything from groceries to plumbing fixtures, building supplies and boating needs. Buerger rode out 1979's Frederic in his store even as the hurricane ripped off the roof. In the storm's aftermath, Buerger worked from temporary quarters to maintain a steady stream of necessities for the devastated island. In 1958, when the lift span to the old Dauphin Island Bridge became stuck, Buerger used his boat to ferry stranded tourists and other people to the mainland for free.
By KIM LANIER, Staff Reporter, Mobile Register -30-

Sunday, June 8, 2008 - The Town of Dauphin Island bought and was deeded $2 million worth of property on the west end of the island and plans to open it as a public beach. The Town paid investors $1.75 million for 200 front feet of waterfront that extends east-west from the Gulf to the Mississippi Sound and leased another 200 front feet. The sellers donated a third parcel with 1,000 front feet west of the mile-wide breach created by Hurricane Katrina.
Kathy Jumper, Real Estate Editor, Press-Register -30-

Monday, July 21, 2008 - Jarrod Davis of Pascagoula cracked the final leader board for the first time in a big way, weighing in the second-biggest bonito and cobia to claim master angler honors at the conclusion of the 76th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo on Sunday. Davis weighed the 14.05-pound bonito and 44.12-pound cobia right before the scales closed on Friday.
Press-Register -30-

Sunday, August 17, 2008 - Dauphin Island buys 4 waterfront lots. The town of Dauphin Island paid almost $1.1 million for four waterfront lots with 180 front feet on Aloe Bay off DeSoto Avenue, according to Linda Henderson of Dauphin Island Real Estate , who represented the town. Howard Yeager of Alabama Realty represented the sellers. The land sale averaged $46.48 per square foot, agents said. The town also bought four adjacent lots with 160 front feet on Aloe Bay from an Oklahoma-based investor for $972,000, according to Grace Tyson of Tyson Real Estate. Dauphin Island plans to use the land for a future working waterfront and/or business district, according to Henderson.
Kathy Jumper, Mobile Register -30-

Monday September 01, 2008 - Dauphin Island Sea Lab closed Tuesday DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. -- The Dauphin Island Sea Lab will be closed Tuesday, a representative there said. It is unclear when the lab will reopen, but representatives there decided to close the lab after the Dauphin Island Causeway flooded.
By Jillian Kramer, Staff Reporter -30-

Tuesday September 02, 2008 - Mobile Bay Ferry service to resume Wednesday Ferry service between Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island will resume its regular schedule Wednesday morning, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Service was interrupted during Hurricane Gustav and as late as midday today water still covered portions of Fort Morgan Road making the highway impassible and the eastern launch inaccessible.
Ryan Dezember, Staff Reporter -30-

Tuesday September 02, 2008 - Most Mobile County schools likely to reopen Wednesday All of Mobile County's public schools, except for Dauphin Island Elementary, will likely reopen Wednesday, officials announced this morning, adding that a final decision will be made this afternoon. As of this morning, Dauphin Island Elementary remained without power, said school system spokeswoman Nancy Pierce, meaning that school may remain closed.
Rena Havner, Register -30-

September 11, 2008 - Waves associated with Hurricane Ike have flooded parts of Dauphin Island, leaving some residents on the west end stranded this morning, officials said. The only road to the barrier island was shut down due to flooding in south Mobile County, officials said. Mayor Jeff Collier said the flooding is similar to what the island experienced during Hurricane Gustav last month, when as much as 3 feet of water covered the west end. Some people staying in houses on the west end have been told to stay in their elevated houses, Collier said. The island lost power this morning, he said. Also, Dauphin Island Elementary School closed today because of the flooding, and it is expected to reopen tomorrow, school officials said.
Katherine Sayre, Register Staff Reporter -30-

Tuesday, September 20, 2008 - This isn't the first time residents Steven Sewell and his Dad Gary have had to spend the day cleaning up after a storm. "It seems every time we try to do some work to make the house look decent around here another storm comes in and rips it all down again," Said Sewell. Their home wasn't hit this time but thanks to Hurricane Ike their driveway was buried under six feet of sand. "Between the two storms this lot just being a few inches low all this water funnels through here and just tears it up and it's like in the canal pretty much," Said Gary Sewell. While the storm didn't damage any homes on Dauphin Island this time, something that wasn't spared was the berm. "That berm's gone that protected these houses and so forth, so it's quite devastating for the people that live on the beach,"Said Bob Holycross, who lives two blocks over from the beach. But it's been a battle for bulldozers all week as crews continue to clear Bienvielle Drive. Alabama Power tells News Five they will be back to work on Monday trying to get the lights back on for people living on the west end of the beach.
WKRG-TV, Diana Lucio Reporter -30-

Thursday, September 22, 2005 , Dauphin Island, AL (AP) -- A geological survey of Dauphin Island shows that Hurricane Katrina shifted part of the island landward and cut a mile-wide canal through the island's western tip. Oceanographer Abby Sallenger of the U-S Geological Survey says the damage to the island was no surprise. New Orleans LA -30-

Monday, December 1, 2008 - A U.S. Coast Guard rescue crew retrieved five boaters from a chilly Gulf of Mexico Sunday morning after their 21-foot fiberglass pleasure craft overturned south of Sand Island. Lt. Matthew Mitchess said that the Coast Guard's Mobile station got a call about the distressed boather at about 9:30am. A boat and helicopter were dispatched to the location abogut one naustical mile south of the island, Mitchell said.
The boat found them first, and all five were pulled from the water - 4 to 6-foot seas - without significant injury, Mitchell said. Their vessel had not sunk when they were taken ashore, and its owner planned to try to salvage the boat later, he said. "It was rough," Mitchess said. "It was definitely not conditions you'd want to be out in at 21-foot boat in." Temperatures in the Gulf were about 57 degrees Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The Weather Service as posted a small-craft advisory through this afternoon. Staff Report -30-

Saturday, January 10, 2009 - On Dauphin Island, winter visitors are still arriving. but some plan shorter stays to save money, said Kelby Linn, vice president of the local Chamber of Commerce.
"What we are finding is they are slowing down a bit and their visits tend to be shorter-lived - instead of two to three months, maybe one month. They're kink of cutting back, but still coming in," said Linn, owner of ACP Real Estate, Inc., a vacation rental business.
"At this point, with the economy the way it is, we're feeling fairly OK. The golf course is doing well, which is always a good sign."
Craig Myers, Staff Reporter -30-

Friday, January 23, 2009 - Auburn University researcher plant 50,000 oysters in Heron Bay - Researchers sprinkled tens of thousands of farm-raised oysters - some with shells barely the size of a quarter - into the waters of Heron Bay on Thursday in hopes of renewing reefs that have been devastated in recent years.
"It's not going to be a quick fix," said Scott Rikard, natural resources program manager at Auburn University's shellfish laboratory on Dauphin Island. "I hope what we're doing today is going to give Heron Bay a jump-start, but it's going to take a while."
Alabama's oyster reefs along the Mississippi Sound have been damaged by the predatory oyster drill, a conch that chews holes in oyster shells and sucks out the growing mollusks inside. Attracted to salty waters, the drills have taken over because of a recent drought in the South, which limited the amount of freshwater that flows from area rivers into Mobile Bay and the sound.
Drought conditions have been relieved lately, researchers said, bringing an increase of freshwater to Heron Bay. State marine officials have recently planted shells to provide a place for young oysters to stick and grow. Boosting the oyster population in the area now could bring new spawn to the reefs in the spring, researchers said.
Katherine Sayer, Staff Reporter -30-

Saturday, January 24, 2009 - Parade watchers on Dauphin Island turned one of Mobile County's first Carnival parades of the year into an all-day affair.
It was nearly 2 pm by the time the grand marshal, longtime Major League pitcher Jon Lieber, rolled past on the back of a black Mercedes convertible. This year's festivities began in Mobile County with the Dauphin Island parade and the Tillman's Tricksters earlier in the day.
the Dauphin Island parade lastled nearly 90 minutes, stretching from the Sea Lab to the Little Red Schoolhouse.

Davied Ferrara, Staff Reporter, Metro/Region section, Mobile Register -30-

Saturday, March 7, 2009 - "Colonies of the Gulf Coast" at Fort Gaines Historical Site on Dauphin Island today gives visitors an opportunity to explore life as it was lived on Isle Dauphine in the 1700-1800s. French and British soldiers will be on hand to demonstrate their military and camping skills. Settlers will show their expertise at candle-making and open-hearth cooking. And, said assistant fort manager, Ursula Prince, "Rick Bowman from upstate Alabama will be here once again to fascinate us with his unique craft of making Indian pottery with authentic clan and curing it over an open-pit fire." Resident blacksmith Ralph Oalmann and his apprentice, Mark Lymann, will show their craft in the blacksmith shop.

Sunday, August 23, 2009 - More than 10.5 acres and 1,300 feet on the Gulf of Mexico on Dauphin Island are listed for sale at $6.75 million, about half what a developer paid almost five years ago, according to Allan Cameron of Grubb & Ellis/Peebles & Cameron and court records. The bank owns the property where at one time Daphne-based developer Buddy Breland has planned to build the Royal Dauphine condominiums and a marina on Bayou Heron, according to Cameron and Realtors. The listingincludes an acre of inland property and about 250 front feet on the bayou.
Kathy Jumjper, Real Estate Editor, Mobile Register

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

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