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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
Mobile Chamber of Commerce
1950's development of Dauphin Island
Photo Gallery

Click pictures for close up view

Mobile Chamber of Commerce Gen. Mgr.,
Robert D. Hayes, & Sec. Mrs. Eleanor Conyers
The idea of the Chamber of Commerce buying Dauphin Island and developing it originated in this office in the old U.S. Custom House that was located on the southwest corner of Royal and St. Francis streets. It was the office of Robert D. Hays, General Manager, shown here with his secretary, Mrs. Eleanor Conyers. It was here that the first small group met and the decision made to contact the owners of the island and make an offer to purchase it for $1,000,000.00(1948).

Planning Engineer, Richard J. Scott
Set up housekeeping in an old Army barracks and with a field staff, the group began operations, surveying and planning the layout of the streets and avenues on Dauphin Island. Seated with back to camera is Julius e. Marx; facing camera from left:
Bob Hays, Dick Scott, Blake McNeely, Dimitri Patronas, and a youn visitor to the Island.

Island Headquarters And Sales
on East End of Island
Near Fort Gaines
Headquarters of the Dauphin Island operations were located in one of the old Spanish American War officer's homes. The group shown are some of those early workers who devoted much time to the project. From left: Front row: Houston Carter, John Roberts, Al Weiskopf, Second row: Mrs. McNeely, Bob Hays, Blake McNeely, W. F. Mandrell, Mrs. Rolston, Dick Scott, Allen Sullivan, Mrs. Sullivan; Back row: John Rolston, George Irvine, Other Lockett.

Oyster Boats used to transport groups to the island
Small oyster boats were pressed into service in the early days of planning to bring those groups to Dauphin Island who were working out details for the proposed development. They came in fair weather or foul and the little boats provided no shelter from rain squalls or choppy seas. This group from left are: Julius Marx, Frank (Mac) McDonald, Al Weiskopf, John Roberts, Ollie Delchamps, Bob Gay, John Rolston, A. B. Jefferies, Bob Hays and Other Lockett.

Two of the Prime Movers in the
development of Dauphin Island
Shown are two of the prime boosters and untiring woorkers for the four mile bridge to Dauphin Island. On the left is A.B. Jefferies who was Chairman of the Mobile County Board of Revenue and road Commission, and at the right is Oliver H. Delchamps, Sr., then President of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. This picture was made on the island in 1953 and
they are standing in what is now the west lane of the four laned LeMoyne Drive.

One of Two early Dauphin Island stores
There were two small stores on Dauphin Island before the bridge. This one was operated by members of the Patronas family and the other by members of the Ladner family.
The above store was located at what is now LeMoyne Drive and Chaumont streets. It was at these stores that our parties would partake of crackers, sardines, potted meat and soft drinks.

Island developer volunteers
got around by a jeep
Aside from walking, the jeep was the only form of transportation before the streets on the island were cut out. This picture was taken in the historic Indian Shell Mounds. The great mounds of oyster shells prove that the oysters were enjoyed by the Indians long before white men came to Dauphin Island. Note the size of the huge oak tree (in the enlargement) growing from the top of one of the mounds, additional proof unrecorded years that early inhabitants had lived and thrived on the abundant seafood in the waters around the island.

Dauphin Island
"golf ball" water tower
The search for an abundant supply of fresh water for the expected growing population on Dauphin Island cuased much anxiety and there was rejoicing when an excellent source was discovered. The installation of the well and the "golf ball" type 135,000 gallon tank was the first construction in the development planning. "We have a fine central water system."
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