Many flags have flown over Alabama's Mobile Bay area in the past 500 years including those of Mississippian Indian tribes, the British, the French, the Spanish, the Confederacy, and finally the United States. There are many places on the coast where you can see Alabama history up close.
Spanish explorers arrived before Hernando de Soto at the beginning of the 14th century and began cartography of the region for Spain. When de Soto arrived, he engaged in conflict with the famous Mississippian Indian chief, Tuskaloosa. After Tuskaloosa's people served food and provided entertainment for de Soto and his men, de Soto demanded more. When Tuskaloosa refused, de Soto took him hostage. Tuskaloosa led the Spaniards to the heavily fortified village of Mabila that consisted of mostly warriors. Here the Indians ambushed the Spaniards and a battle ensued. After 8 or 9 hours of fighting, the Spanish wiped out the town. A little piece of Mobile history - this is how Mobile got its name, from the town of Mabila.
Later, Mobile became the capital of French Louisiana in 1702 and remained a part of New France for over 60 years. Following the Seven Years War, Britain took control of the area from France. Before Alabama finally became a territory of the U.S., it was recaptured by the Spanish during the American Revolutionary War and remained under Spanish rule for approximately 30 years. During this time, British settlers who remained in the area rebelled and briefly formed the Republic of West Florida. After the initiation of the War of 1812, Americans finally took control of the Alabama Territory, and it remained part of the United States until 1861 when Alabama seceded from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.
Gulf Shores' proximity to Mobile Bay makes it a history enriched location with attractions that educate and inspire. The curious traveler who wants to know more about Alabama history can explore shipwreck artifacts and artillery batteries from the Civil War, forts built during the era of New France and the War of 1812, and a variety of other historical markers that tell the story of southern Alabama.