Caldwell Field is named in honor of James Henry Caldwell, celebrated for bringing the concept of the manufactured gas business to the City of Mobile. On September 20, 1836, Mr. Caldwell entered into a contract with the City of Mobile, which granted him a thirty-year franchise for the purpose of "lighting the City of Mobile with gas" and "furnishing its citizens with gas light in their private homes, or for their private uses." The new enterprise eventually became known as Mobile Gas Light & Coke Company.
The former Mobile Gas manufactured gas plant (MGP) operated from 1836 to the early 1930's. During this time, natural gas was manufactured through a process of heating coal and oil in enclosed ovens and extracting gas for use in lighting and cooking. Over 1,500 MGP sites operated across the United States during this period, with just one MGP site operating in Mobile. This MGP site is the sixth oldest gas utility location in the United States and the site of Mobile's oldest corporate citizen Mobile Gas Service Corporation.
This industrial property had not been used for decades and the site was enrolled in the Alabama Department of Environmental Management Voluntary Cleanup Program to ensure that
the clean up was conducted as safely and environmentally friendly as possible.
Today, Caldwell Field is designed to be a space where the Mobile community can gather, go for a run, have a picnic, relax on a bench and enjoy some fresh air.