Oakleigh Historic Complex
Mobile’s Official Antebellum House Museum
The Oakleigh Historic Complex in Mobile, Alabama, is Mobile’s official antebellum house museum. Built in 1833, the Oakleigh is a beautiful T-shaped Greek Revival villa. Today, the complex houses three different museums: Oakleigh, the Official Period House Museum, built in 1833, the Cox-Deasy Cottage, built in 1850, and the Cook’s House, built in 1850.
A Window to the Past
The different homes in the complex each tell a different story. Tour guides at the Oakleigh Historic Complex dress in period costumes as they guide you through the experiences for the mid-19th century lives of the high society, the servant and working class.
Located on the southwestern portion of the property, the Cook’s House was built in 1850 as quarters for slaves who labored at Oakleigh. A three-room building, it highlights every day life for craftsmen, laborers and domestic servants.
The Cox-Deasy cottage, also built in 1850, tells another story that often goes untold. It was originally built as the family home for a brick mason, his wife and eleven children. Because the brick mason could not spare brick from his inventory, the home is simple four-room wooden raised cottage with a broad central hallway.
The Oakleigh mansion itself was built by a Virginian cotton factor named James W. Roper and for three generations, one of Mobile’s leading society families called it home. Some of the charming architectural details of the mansion include a cantilevered front staircase, grand double parlors and classic six-over-six windows and galleries accessed through jib windows.
The Mitchell Archives
Also located at the Oakleigh Historic Complex are the Mitchell Archives, a historic research facility related to the history of Mobile, Alabama. The collection of archives, including photographs, documents, letters and other memorabilia, dates back to the organization of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society in 1935.
Some highlights of the collection include the first edition of the Mobile Commercial Register, Volume 1, Number 1, dated December 10, 1821, and the log book of the Steamer S. E. Meaher, 1855.
The archival program is an ongoing project of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society as an asset to the historic preservation efforts in Mobile.
Visiting the Oakleigh Historic Complex
The Oakleigh Historic Complex’s hours of operations are Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. It is possible to visit the Oakleigh Historic Complex at additional times if you call to make an appointment.
General admission to the Oakleigh Historic Complex is $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for children and students. If you are in a group of 10 people or more, admission is $5.00. There are discounts available for seniors, AAA members, veterans and active military personnel.
Located at 300 Oakleigh Place, just five minutes east of the intersection of Government and Catherine Street in Mobile, Alabama. If you are traveling east on Government, go eight blocks before turning right onto Ann Street. From there, you can take the first left onto Selma Street.
Parking and unloading for buses and large passenger vehicles is available if you travel four blocks on Selma Street and turn left onto Roper Street. All other vehicles should travel five blocks on Selma Street and turn left onto Oakleigh Place.