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Orange Beach in Baldwin County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Romar Beach

 
 
Romar Beach Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 22, 2018
1. Romar Beach Marker
Inscription.  Romar Beach began as a large homestead property with three miles of beachfront spanning from Gulf State Park to Hwy 161 in Orange Beach. The original property now covers only 480 feet. It was a true homestead and the owners were required to ‘till the soil’. Of all attempts over the years, only the Oleander trees survived. The owners were business friends from Mobile, Alabama–Spurgeon Roche and Carl 'Zeke’ Martin. The first two letters of Roche and the first three of Martin formed the name ‘Romar’.

Their two houses, built around 1924, were the first houses built on the beach. It was difficult to access their property so the two men built their own road south from Canal Road straight to the beach. This included a wooden bridge built over the freshwater lakes. Far stability, the roadway was ‘corduroyed' with logs and lumber across the swamp and sandy land. That road is now 'Power Line Road’.

The 1924 Spurgeon Roche House has survived many storms. It was originally built on pilings, a second story was added later and it has been strengthened through many renovations over the years, Jerry Gilbreath of Mississippi purchased
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the Roche house around 1980. In 1991, he turned it into the Original Romar House Bed and Breakfast. It is still operating as Alabama's first Gulfside B & B. The original Carl Martin house stood until 1979 when Hurricane Frederic destroyed it.

Mack Shelby was the caretaker of the Romar Homestead which was adjacent to Gulf State Park. Lake Shelby, located within the park, is named for the Shelby family.

Most of the original Roche/ Martin homestead was sold to developers over the years and many buildings in the area carry the Romar name including the Romar Beach Baptist Church, Romar Tower, Romar Place, Romar Beach Condos, Romar Lake Development, and the Romar Beach Public Access.
 
Erected 2017 by the City of Orange Beach and the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission AL200.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1924.
 
Location. 30° 15.617′ N, 87° 37.401′ W. Marker is in Orange Beach, Alabama, in Baldwin County. Marker is on Perdido Beach Boulevard (Alabama Route 182) 0.1 miles east of Tannin Boulevard, on the right when traveling east. Located next to the Original Romar House. Touch for map. Marker is
Romar Beach Marker (reverse) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 22, 2018
2. Romar Beach Marker (reverse)
at or near this postal address: 23500 Perdido Beach Boulevard, Orange Beach AL 36561, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Orange Beach Municipal Complex (approx. 3 miles away); Orange Beach, Alabama (approx. 3.6 miles away); Bay Circle (approx. 3.7 miles away); Gulf Shores Community (approx. 4.1 miles away); Perdido Pass (approx. 4.2 miles away); Camp Withers (approx. 4.2 miles away); Tampary (approx. 6.4 miles away in Florida); Orange Beach Community Cemetery (approx. 6.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orange Beach.
 
The Original Romar House B&B. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 22, 2018
3. The Original Romar House B&B.
View from marker west towards "downtown" Gulf Shores. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 22, 2018
4. View from marker west towards "downtown" Gulf Shores.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 25, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,271 times since then and 454 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 26, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jul. 23, 2024