Information on:

History Museum of Mobile

111 South Royal Street

History and Mission:
Explore 300 years of Mobile history and material culture in the 1857 National Landmark building, the Southern Market/Old City Hall. Visit the museum and learn about the life and times of a great Gulf Coast City. Don’t miss the exciting changing exhibition galleries, the hands-on Discovery Room and the museum’s store, The Shop in the Southern Market.

A modern museum housed in the Southern Market/Old City Hall National Historic Landmark, the Museum of Mobile is a visual masterpiece that provides an unparalleled museum experience.

An 1855 resolution, passed to construct a building for the city market and departments of city government, now The Museum of Mobile, declared that this structure should be, "of handsome appearance-an ornament to the City." Indeed it is. This beautiful Italianate building was, "quite the pride of Mobilians," then - and still is today.

Built between 1855 and 1857, the building currently housing The Museum of Mobile originally served three functions. The top floor accommodated the Mayor of Mobile’s office and served as the City Council’s meeting place. Mobile’s City Council (City governing body) continues to meet in this building a few times a year in order to carry on the tradition of having met in this location continuously since its opening in 1858.

When it opened in 1858, the second floor was also headquarters for a few local militia units, most notably the Mobile Cadets. Founded during the Mexican War in 1848, the Mobile Cadets served with distinction during the Civil War and long afterwards. They held their training and marching practices here as well as their formal dances well into the late 1800s.

The third and perhaps most important function of this building was the Southern Market of Mobile. The public market was a venue where licensed food venders rented out stalls on the ground floor to sell meat, vegetables, seafood, and fruit. The market stalls were located in what today is the museum atrium. Mobile’s Southern Market did not completely close its doors until 1942.

Designed in the Italianate style of architecture, Mobile’s City Hall and Southern Market complex comprised four buildings and covered two-thirds of the block between Royal and Church streets. Between 1997 and 2000, an addition was added to the back of the building to house the Museum of Mobile’s permanent exhibits and staff offices.


Albert Cheatham

Saturday, April 7, 2018
This was a family trip for the kids to see some of their own artwork displayed in a real museum. The staff at the museum went out of their way to make all the participants and guest feel at home. They provided light snacks for everyone present. They were nice to the kids and helped everyone get to the exhibit site. They also helped parents navigate around to particular areas of the museum where their child might have pieces displayed. Also, the rest of the museum was open to everyone and it was free. That is an excellent price. This is not a bug museum but it has a big heart.

Pilvi Theeck

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Had a wonderful time, kids enjoyed it. Ige age exhibit was great! Will definitely go back to see new exhibits with the kiddos.

Jeremy Rylee

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Great place for touring or catching a tour around the historical Mobile downtown district. Family fun and great prices

Kandi Keys

Monday, May 28, 2018
Very awesome. Our tour guide was amazing. Very knowledgeable. And my 7 year olds loved it

Rodney Moody

Saturday, March 10, 2018
I love museums and have been to several in my life. This is one of the best I have ever visited. Well layed out and beautiful. I really get a feel for their appreciation and honor that they bestow on their artifacts. This is a must visit when visiting Mobile.

History Museum of Mobile is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media