Oakleigh Belle Coordinator
Mobile's most enduring historical society, HMPS was formed in 1935 and eighty-two years later its members are still proud advocates for preservation of beautiful, historic Mobile. On March 14, 1935, at the call of Mrs. Mary F. Sledge, a group of Mobile’s cultural leaders met to discuss forming a society “for the purpose of the protection and preservation of Mobile’s beautiful old buildings and other things of historic value”.
-Mrs. Mary F. Sledge
At the Society's third meeting, on May 21, 1935, it was decided that Historic Mobile Preservation Society would be the name of the new organization.
President: Mrs. W. S. Pugh
Vice President: Mrs. Ed Flynn
Second Vice President: Mrs. E. S. Sledge
Recording Secretary: Mrs. Lillian Trimble, Mrs. D. T. McCall
Corresponding Secretary: Mrs. Tom Moore
Treasurer: Mrs. F. L. Tapia
Historians: Miss Rosemary Glennon, Mrs. J. W. Black, Mrs. Ethel Creighton
Among many other preservation actions in its first year of existence, HMPS placed a historic marker at the site of the Garrow House on the Southeast corner of Jackson and Government. General Lafayette, hero of the American Revolution, stayed at this location when he visited the U.S. in 1824.
The Society also marked the grave of Admiral Semmes in Catholic Cemetery, protested the “indiscriminate and flagrant cutting of oak trees along Government Street”, and placed historical markers at Church Street Grave yard (Mobile’s first cemetery) and Joachim and Government (Mobile city limits in 1711).
After reaching an agreement with the City of Mobile to manage Oakleigh in 1955, HMPS settled into a period of expansion, acquiring items to fill and interpret the historic home. Today, the museum manages over 1,150 artifacts and over 12,000 archival items. In 1980, the Minnie-Mitchell Archives was constructed on the grounds of Oakleigh to serve as the archives and headquarters of HMPS. Oakleigh House remains open to the public, operating proudly as Mobile’s first antebellum house museum.