The Grand Bay Library – September 2017

Citizens For A Better Grand  Bay and Friends of the Grand Bay Library are renovating the historic Grand Bay State Bank building (1913) for use as a regional public library, technology center and agricultural museum, located in the old Grand Bay State Bank Building on the corner of Freeland Ave and Potter Tract Road.

From 1913 to 1929 the building was used as a bank, then it was the US Post Office from 1933 to 1975. In between that time, the rear of the building was a dry goods store and a real estate office.

Most recently it was the location of the El Cazador Museum where local treasure hunters sold the gold coins from a ship salvaged in the Gulf Of Mexico.

The upstairs of the 4,000 SF building was previously a Masonic Lodge.  

In 2011 Mobile County purchased the building and leased it to CBGB so that it could be renovated for a library. Since the project began, CBGB has been working on the building using grant funds and donations from local and regional donors.

Lee McClinton, a board member with CBGB is acting as the project coordinator and is really getting things completed on the building. Without McClinton’s expertise in brick and cement industry this project would not be going along as fast and completed as well as it is.

During the Spring and Summer the brickwork was repointed and sealed. 

The repair and replacement of the 1st floor windows and doors on the west and north sides of the building was completed this summer with the older window glass replaced with code required tempered glass by Pascagoula Glass of Pascagoula and the original window framework and window trim was repaired by local contractor Clark Painting and Contracting of Coden, Alabama, who also installed  the exterior doors. Specialty Contractors of Ocean Springs completed areas of stucco inside the building.

Mobile Lumber gave us a generous discount on the large exterior doors and Brabner & Hollan supplied the door hardware, also at a great discount.

In addition to the local contractors involved in this phase of work, volunteers from within the Grand Bay community also participated with the initial stages of the window replacement project by preparing the area for the contractors.

The window repair and replacement was funded by a grant from the Gulf Coast RC&D Council in the amount of $3,236 and the Sybil Smith Foundation Grant of $10,000, along with donations from within the community from the Daniel Foundation Challenge Grant in 2016.

Gulf Coast RC&D helped kick start the Grand Bay Library Project with a $25,000 grant in 2011 to pay for the initial engineering and design plans and architectural schematics, presentations and drawings.

The Grand Bay Library is being renovated in phases as funds will allow. Plans are being made for a Fall Event at the Library Building and a GALA Event for the Spring of 2018.

The Grand Bay Library needs your support and we need your help to plan fundraising events.  For more information go to the Facebook page at The Grand Bay Library.



Donations are greatly appreciated and can be sent many ways:  Just Give, Payal at, or send a check to CBGB‐Grand Bay Library, P O Box 274, Grand Bay, AL 36541.

Your donations are tax deductible and will directly benefit the community. For more info and photos visit our website at or on Facebook at The Grand Bay Library.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Grand Bay Library Project




Friends of the Grand Bay Library are proud to announce that work on the exterior bricks on the Grand Bay Library is completed. IMG_2974The brickwork is being re-pointed, cleaned and sealed by Wayne Champagne of Champagne Masonry and his staff of masonry professionals who specialize in historical restoration of brickwork. This pIMG_2977hase of the Grand Bay Library renovation is funded with the $50,000 matching grant from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, and is under the direction of our Grand Bay Library friend, Lee McClinton. The next phase of work to the building will be the renovation of the exterior windows and doors.            IMG_2976

Many of the products used for the brickwork renovation were donated by local and regional businesses and corporations: Ready Mix USA, Birmingham; Boral Brick, Hattisburg; Acme Brick, Mobile; Hohmann and Barnard, Trussville; Riley Stuart Supply, Mobile; A&S, Inc, Irvington and Evonik (Degussa), Theodore.

Located on the corner of Freeland Ave and Pottertract Road, the Grand Bay Library was originally the Grand Bay State Bank building built in 1913.  At that time Grand Bay was a growing town, complete with a dentists, a doctor, a hotel, boarding houses and a packing plant for the abundant produce grown in the area. All commercial activity centered near the train station and the L&N railroad in the center of town, which is now the Grand Bay Historic District.

The Grand Bay State Bank and the Albert Freeland Store were two of the main buildings in the Historic District of Grand Bay. Now both buildings are the focal point of a renovation project sponsored by Citizens For A Better Grand Bay that will eventually include the Grand Bay Library and Museum, a gift shop and cultural center, and a town park.

From 1925 to 1975 the downstairs of the Grand Bay State Bank was used as the US Post Office and the second floor was used as the Masonic Hall. In the 1990s the building was occupied by the El Cazador Museum, housing Spanish Gold and salvaged artifacts from the treasure ship found in the Gulf Of Mexico.

The Grand Bay Library & Museum, in addition to being a public library and technology center, will highlight Grand Bay’s agricultural heritage with displays and historic artifacts both inside the building and on the surrounding grounds.

Friends of the Grand Bay Library will be meeting in March to begin planning for the 2017 Library Gala to be held this fall.  It will be a grand evening of entertainment, dining and dancing.  Call Aleta at 251‐656‐4576 for more information.

The Grand Bay Library needs your support and we need your help to plan fundraising events. For more information and photos go to the Facebook page at The Grand Bay Library or

Funding for the Grand Bay Library renovations comes from Grants, Fundraisers and donations. Donations are greatly appreciated and can be sent many ways:  Just Give, Payal at, or send a check to CBGB‐Grand Bay Library, P O Box 274, Grand Bay, AL 36541. Your donations are tax deductible and will directly benefit the community.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where did Grand Bay gets its name?

That question has been asked often. The actual Bay is five miles south of the present site of Grand Bay.

Grand Bay 4

Seamen used to tell stories about ships that sailed to Grand Bay for shelter from the hurricanes and storms – and even pirates. No one really knows for sure. After the post office was opened in 1870, and the railroad was put through, the “town” was moved from the bay to its present site.


An article in the Mobile Press Register on January 5, 1985, quoting former state legislator and Grand Bay resident Taylor Harper, said that a settler named Cassibry was the first to discover the pine and magnolia wilderness of southwest Mobile County in 1857. He surely was rewarded for his pioneering vision.

224581_410395492349217_1166186310_n It is told that George Cassibry lived to be 104, giving credit for his longevity to the mineral water in the springs near Franklin Creek.

A brief real estate “boom” after the turn of the twentieth century brought an influx of hopeful settlers from the Northern United States. Touted as the “Riviera of the South” by the Grand Bay Land Company, and advertised as having the perfect climate for fruit growers, the community now boasted a public school, a large nursery for fruit trees, and at least thirty businesses.

314161_410386989016734_1523393718_nIn 1905, the Grand Bay Hotel opened and continued to flourish for many years. All too soon, though, driven to the point of bankruptcy by severe winters that decimated the fruit trees, many disappointed settlers left the area.

Davis' orchard

Today only a few of the historic buildings of Grand Bay still stand. However, the farming community remains strongly in evidence and the crops of pecans, cotton, soybeans, and watermelons are famous. Today Grand Bay is known as a “bedroom community”, with many of its residents commuting to jobs in Jackson County, Mississippi and Baldwin County, Alabama as well as in the city of Mobile.

-Submitted by, Muriel Donald


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment