Tour the Past at Oakleigh Historic Complex

May 17th, 2019 by Corey A. Edwards

Oakleigh Historic ComplexStep back in time at Oakleigh Historic Complex, home to Mobile’s oldest house museum, a Union barracks, the Cox-Deasy Cottage, and the Minnie Mitchell Archives.

Oakleigh House, constructed in 1833 by James W. Roper, was one of the first major residences to be built outside of the Mobile city limits. The mansion is one of the country’s rarest examples of Greek revival architecture and one of Alabama’s largest T-shaped homes. Oakleigh’s unique shape encourages a cooling cross-ventilation against the region’s notorious humidity.

The Oakleigh House and grounds remained in private hands until 1955, when the estate was purchased by the city of Mobile. The property had been kept in good working shape over the years. Consequently, the job of restoring it to its historic glory was not as difficult as it could have been and the results are stunning.

Tours of Oakleigh House reveal not only gorgeous antebellum architecture but also a vast collection of decorative and fine art. Things like the Conning silver collection, Haviland Limoge china, and artworks by Sully, Heutis, and West. The museum’s holdings contain over 1,000 historical artifacts; one of the largest such collections in the South.

Barracks, Cottage, and Archives

Oakleigh Historic Complex is more than just Oakleigh House, however. The grounds also contain a Union Barracks, built in 1867, the 1850 Cox-Deasy Cottage, and the Minnie Mitchell Archives.

The Union Barracks at Oakleigh, also once the Cook’s House, is one of the few surviving structures built for Reconstruction after the Civil War. The historic structure has been restored to its post-Emancipation/Reconstruction state.

The Cox-Deasy Cottage is a Creole raised cottage built in 1850 by brick mason George Cox. The restored cottage is a significant example of historic Gulf Coast architecture and is the only example of such that is open to the public.

The Minnie Mitchell Archives are home for most of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society’s research and studies. The building contains historic maps, ancestral papers, rare books, clippings, photographs, memorabilia, and many other special collections.

Oakleigh Historic Complex

350 Oakleigh Place, Mobile, AL 36604
Open Friday, Saturday, Monday: 10am to 4pm, Sunday: 1pm to 4pm
Docent led tours of the grounds are available on the hour.

Learn more at www.historicoakleigh.com. You can also visit the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Mobile AL Lodging

Historic Oakleigh House is 5 minutes or less away from your guestroom at Malaga Inn. Malaga Inn’s convenient downtown location puts much of the best of Mobile within easy reach. Shopping, dining, museums, galleries, activities, events, and so much more. Book your stay at Malaga Inn today!

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