Come celebrate a living history Christmas at one of the best preserved, 19th century shoreline fortifications on the east coast: Fort Gaines! The 34th annual Fort Gaines Christmas Through the Ages living history event is scheduled for December 8th, 2018.
Fort Gaines, located on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, is always a great place to visit. The fort’s ramparts have been guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay since the early 1860’s.
In fact, construction on the fort began in 1821 but, due to a number of issues, it wasn’t finished until 1862. Mind you, it was completed after it had been captured by Southern troops!
Visiting Fort Gaines
The Fort Gaines Historic Site consists of five buildings, all within the fort’s imposing, exterior walls.
The well-preserved ramparts and grounds are fascinating to explore. Tunnel systems connect throughout and many of the cannons on display were actually fired during the Battle of Mobile Bay! You’ll also see the “disappearing guns” and bunker systems that were added during the Spanish-American War.
Are you familiar with Admiral Farragut’s famous “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” quote? If so, you may be interested to know that the anchor from the flagship he yelled that on is preserved here.
Fort Gaines also has a functioning blacksmith shop and kitchens, gift shop, and a museum. The Fort Gaines museum on site covers the history of Dauphin Island as well as the Civil War years. The gift shop has an excellent selection of history books and other items.
Visitors to the historic fort may explore it via guided of self-guided tours.
Guided tours must be reserved in advance and are conducted by a docent in period uniform. Guided tours also include a cannon firing and a blacksmithing demonstration. The self-guided tours are excellent but if you can, reserve a guided tour.
Fort Gaines Christmas Through the Ages 2018
During the holiday season, the fort puts on a a living history day. Come see how soldiers and their families at the fort celebrated the holidays over the decades. There will be dancing, caroling, demonstrations, and much more. The experience is like entering a time machine that takes you back to the 1700s through the 1900s.
Christmas Through the Ages 2018
December 8, 2018 – 9am to 5pm
51 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Learn more about this event online.
Historic Fort Gaines
51 Bienville Avenue, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Open 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
Learn more at dauphinisland.org.
Fort Gaines is part of The Battle For Mobile Bay Civil War Trail. Unfortunately, it has also been designated as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites in America. Shoreline erosion and damage from storms continue to threaten the site. Consequently, if you’d like to visit the site, time is of the essence.
Fort Gaines Lodging
Malaga Inn, is conveniently located in historic Downtown Mobile, offers 39 private rooms and suites custom tailored with free parking, wifi, and a continental breakfast. Book your stay at Malaga Inn today.