From Our Editors
A Greek revival manse nestled in a grove of oak trees, Oakleigh's foundations were laid nearly two centuries ago in the mind of a Virginia-born cotton broker named James W. Roper. Ground was broken in the land in 1833, and the Irwin family purchased the property in 1852; it stayed in the same family until 1916. Today, the estate embodies an open-air time capsule of the period complete with furniture, historic artifacts, and an extensive art collection.
- Size: 35 acres, three buildings, 181 years of history
- Eye Catcher: the home guides, who dress in era-appropriate costumes
- The Building: Mobile's official period house museum, the T-shaped mansion has hosted writers, actors, presidents-to-be, and their Best Friends Forever
- Crown Jewel: the main building is full of special pieces, including period silver, porcelain, paintings, and personal items
- Don't Miss: the Cox-Deasy cottage, a simple building that demonstrates what the working-class lifestyle was like
- Special Programs: since 2008, the Oakleigh Belles program has trained high school students to act as docents and guides at the estate