Archive of Dauphin Island History - Click here for a complete collection of fascinating history about
Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Dauphin Island

300 Years of History

Dauphin Island Real Estate, Inc
1606 Bienville Blvd.
Dauphin Island, AL 36528

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Dauphin Island is a subtropical Gulf barrier island situated three miles off the Alabama coast, 35 miles to the south of Mobile, and 120 miles to the east of New Orleans.

Over a millennium before the first Europeans landed, prehistoric Native Americans enjoyed the seemingly endless supply of shellfish and seafood. Many were drawn from further north by the readily available supply of food. Serpentine in shape, the Indian Shell Mounds, constructed over 1500 years ago by the Mound Builder culture, is lasting testament to Native American long-term occupancy and usage of Dauphin Island.

Dauphin Island - Aerial View


In 1519, the Spanish explorer Pineda was the first documented European to visit, staying long enough to map the Island with remarkable accuracy.

The Island's modern history began when the French explorer Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d'Iberville landed on the Island in 1699, beginning the first permanent settlement. Isle Dauphine, or Massacre Isle , as it was first called by the French due to the piles of human bones they found on its shores, became the first capital of the French Louisiana Territory in 1700. The Island was captured by the British in 1766 only to be seized by the Spanish in 1780 while the British were busy with the Revolutionary War. American forces captured the island in 1813 to prevent the British from using it in the War of 1812 (1812-1814).

Fort Gaines - East End of Dauphin Island

Fort Gaines was begun in 1821, completed in 1848, occupied by Confederate forces in 1861 and was captured by Federal troops during the famous Battle of Mobile Bay. The phrase, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead," was spoken by U. S. Admiral David Farragut just a few hundred yards from Dauphin Island's shore.

Birders - Indian Shell Mound Park

The Shell Mounds and Dauphin Island in general are renowned "hot-spots" for observing neotropical migrant birds, and attract birders from around the U.S. each spring and fall. Dauphin Island is the first point of land encountered by migrants during their spring migration across the Gulf of Mexico. The entire Island is a bird sanctuary. Shell Mound Park, located on the Island's northern shore, is maintained and administered by Alabama Marine Resources Division

Osprey - Gulf Beach


Today, the Island has a permanent population of about 1,200. It's a noncommercial, family oriented community offering varied outdoor activities while maintaining the serenity desired by the permanent residents.

Tourism activities include boating, the best fishing on the Gulf Coast, camping, swimming, scuba diving, shopping, cycling on the Island-wide bike trail, and world-famous birding. Be sure to visit historic Ft. Gaines and the Estuarium, Dauphin Island Sea Lab's fantastic Marine Educational Center and Aquarium. The visitor will find an astounding variety of natural wonder, friendly folks and plenty of fun things to see and do.

Dauphin Island is not just another beach town!

Scarlet Tanager - Audubon Sanctuary

Sand Island Lighthouse
Mobile Bay Entrance


Our unparalleled serenity awaits you!

© Dauphin Island Real Estate
P. O. Box 65 -
Dauphin Island, AL - 36528
Tel: 1-251-861-8042



Dauphin Island
Settled in1699