“Damn the torpedoes!” is the often quoted phrase shouted by Rear Admiral David Farragut shortly after dawn on Aug. 5, 1864. The Admiral led 18 Union warships through the mouth of Mobile Bay and into the Civil War’s largest naval battle. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Alabama’s Battle of Mobile Bay and the Siege of Fort Morgan. Re-enactments, music, exhibits, living history demonstrations, and a festival commemorating the brave fighting men will be staged throughout the three-day event–August 1-3.
Fort Morgan State Historic Site’s gates will open at 7 a.m. each day and will remain open for the duration of each day’s activities, although normal admissions will be suspended after 6 p.m. Friday. Admission to the park during the weekend of the event will be: Friday after 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: $10 for a single day ticket; $20 for a three-day pass; $30 for a single day for a family of four; and $65 for a three-day pass for a family of four. There is no charge for children under 6.
Parking for the event will be located off-site at Pelican Place Shopping Center in Gulf Shores, Alabama with transportation provided by the Baldwin Rural Area Transportation Service for a small fee. For information, go to fortmorgan.org/150th, or call (251) 540-5257.
WHERE TO STAY
Visitors can opt for a hotel in the Mobile or Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area.
The beautifully restored Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa in downtown Mobile originally opened in 1852. The historic hotel’s halls have been graced by American presidents, Mobile debutantes and captains of industry for decades. Today, the hotel offers a world-class spa, fine and casual dining options, great golf and a stunning lobby. The hotel’s historian, George Moore, was named the Ambassador of the Year in 2013 by the Historic Hotels of America. Rates from $137.
From the Concierge Lounge on the 28th floor of the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, you can see where the Battle of Mobile Bay took place 150 years ago. Rates at ths downtown property start from $99 per night.
If you want to combine the historic weekend with a memorable resort experience, book a room at the The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, Alabama. Named the Top Historic Hotel in the US in 2013 by Historic Hotels of America, this property salutes the military each day with a patriotic procession and cannon firing followed by afternoon tea. The resort was used as a hospital in the Civil War and as a training ground during World War II. Rates from $219 and special history packages are available.
Just down the road from Fort Morgan is the Beach Club. The family-friendly resort has gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico. Make a reservation for a one to five bedroom condo with fully stocked kitchens. The centerpiece of the resort is the 25,000 square foot Clubhouse where you will find the Fitness Center, a heated indoor pool, full-service spa, and the Coast restaurant. Each of the four condo towers has its own outdoor pool and hot tubs. In addition, there is a heated pool beside the Clubhouse. Condos start at $1,067 for a three-night stay. Call (855) 762- 6875 to make a reservation.