Step back in time to the antebellum South with a visit to Mobile, Alabama's most popular attractions - the Historic Oakleigh House Museum!
A beautiful example of a pre-Civil War, southern home, the Historic Oakleigh House Museum in the Oakleigh Historic Complex is considered one of the rarest examples of Greek revival architecture in the United States.
Remarkably well preserved, much of the credit for its current state of repair falls to the families who have lived here and carefully adapted and preserved the home through the intervening decades.
Built on 35 acres in 1833 by James W. Roper, Oakleigh - a name that evokes the property on which it was built: an oak laden meadow - was one of Mobile's first major residences built outside of the city limits.
Oakleigh is further unique in that it is one of the largest T-shaped homes in the state of Alabama, designed for cross-ventilation to help mitigate the region's notorious subtropical humidity.
Beyond the architecture and grounds, one of the draws to Historic Oakleigh House is its vast collection of decorative and fine art, one of the largest in the South. The Oakleigh House collection contains over 1,000 artifacts hailing from between 1830-1900, including the Conning silver collection, Haviland Limoge china, and artworks by Sully, Heutis, and West.
Also on the Oakleigh Historic Complex are three other buildings of import: the Union Barracks, the Cox-Deasy Cottage, and the Minnie Mitchell Archives.
The Union Barracks, built in 1867, is one of the few surviving structures built for Reconstruction after the Civil War. Previously known as the Cook's House, it was once thought to have been constructed as a slave's quarters but recent discoveries have revealed the true and fascinating history of this edifice and it is now used to tell the story of post-Emancipation life in Mobile.
The Cox-Deasy Cottage, built in 1850, is notable in that it is a Creole raised cottage, an architectural style unique to the Gulf Coast region. Presently used as program space for the Historic Mobile Preservation Society, the Cox-Deasy Cottage is the only historic, Creole raised cottage open to the public.
The Minnie Mitchell Archives - a modern archives building - house the Historic Mobile Preservation Society's collection of Mobile maps, documents, family papers, photographs, rare books, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, and artifacts.
Tours of the Oakleigh Historic Complex are just as unique and fascinating as the home, itself. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy one during your Mobile vacation!