With its white arches and ornate architecture -- The History Museum of Mobile is one of the Port City's most iconic and oldest buildings.

Pictures of its transformation over the years displayed throughout the inside.

Mobile native Scott Corcoran knows his Port City history and has always had a fascination with the impact left behind by Hurricane Frederic.

"It was really the defining storm of modern Mobile," Scott Corcoran, Assistant Curator of Education History Museum of Mobile.

Several pictures show the damage to the building in the days after Frederic.

"The entire roof of the southern wing was knocked down... It took about 4.3-million dollars to renovate and construction took about 3.5 years," explained Corcoran.

Memories from Frederic woven into the fabric of Mobile. Research historian Charles Torrey remembers the storm very well.

"Frederic's scars will take years to heal... And it did," said Torrey as he reads one of the old newspaper headlines.

Looking through the archives -- he too recalls picking up the pieces and starting over.

"It was a mess... The roof was gone off this wing we are sitting in," said Torrey.

In his late 20s at the time, Torrey was working in a differnt department of the city and remembers delivering ice to those in need following Frederic.

"Everyone has memories of their particular storm. A particular storm will imprint itself forever," said Torrey.

The storm also had an impact on students in Mobile County. Recollections from their experiences part of a collection of stories and pictures at the museum.

One picture shows downed trees, and says "Ready for Freddie" and "Fred was here." Another student writes about the terrifying moments as the storm passed over and waiting it out with his family: "We shut ourselves up in the hall, with all the doors shut with a mattress on top of us. We could hear the roof popping. We knew it was going any minute."

In their own words, through a child's eyes - Frederic comes to life in poems like this:

"On Wednesday night Frederic was a fright. He didn't blow down just one thing. Freddie blew down everything in sight."

With the worst left behind, the storm also brought out the best in mankind.

"I remember the closeness of the people of the city -- people helped people. They cared about people. They did whatever they could for each other," said recalled Torrey.

For those who lived through it, Frederic has stayed with them 40 years later.

"Just individual stories from those who survived and endured the storm... And everyone has been a story of resilience of growing through it and making a new Mobile," said Corcoran.

We've posted those letters, pictures, and poems from Mobile County school children. If you know who they are -- contact us -- we'd like to talk to them.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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