Nice Things to Know About Saraland – The Gateway to Progress
- Saraland formed its own city school system in 2006. It is now ranked among the best school systems in the State of Alabama. Students receive outstanding education in fields such as nursing, engineering and welding in state-of-the-art facilities. Since its inception, the Saraland City School system has more than doubled in size, from 1500 students in 2009 to over 3000 students now. This is but one example of the tremendous growth that the City of Saraland is experiencing.
- The City of Saraland was recently designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence. Saraland was the first and, to date, the only municipality in Mobile County to receive this honor.
- Saraland enjoys a very low crime rate which can be attributed, in part, to our police department. With their professional approach to community policing, the police team with our residents to provide a safe environment. Our citizens also benefit from outstanding fire and paramedic services with expedient response from three well-equipped stations throughout the City including 24/7 paramedic coverage. Additional city employees provide a wide variety of top notch services to ensure our residents and guests have safe roads, parks and facilities.
- The Infirmary Medical Campus has opened a multi-specialty clinic facility as well as a diagnostic center offering MRI/CT capability. Mobile Infirmary has opened a new freestanding emergency department in Saraland. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, emergency care is provided. Future phases of expansion will outpatient surgery center and ultimately a hospital.
- Many new businesses are locating to Saraland. Publix, Cracker Barrel, Whataburger and several other new restaurants and retail businesses are planned. Saraland is home to over a dozen hotels including new hotel properties such as Fairfield Inn, Towne Place Suites, and Hampton Inn.
- Youth sports activities are very popular in Saraland. Saraland has, at present, 11 city parks for recreational activities of every kind. Plans are presently being considered for a state-of-the-art sports complex which may include facilities for baseball, softball, tennis, and soccer. The City recently opened the McAuthor-McKinney Recreation Center which offers an outstanding venue for young people to play basketball, volleyball and other activities.
- Saraland is a very family-friendly community. The City Splash Pad is now open. Also contemplated are an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and a ”Summer Movie Night” series and an aquatics center.
- The Saraland Senior Center offers many activities for active seniors. Arts and crafts, painting, card games, pool, exercise equipment and computer lab are available with many classes provided. A nutritious lunch is available weekdays at the center with Meals-On-Wheels delivering food to homebound seniors.
- Located adjacent to the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, scenic boating, canoeing, fishing and other watersports opportunities abound. Saraland is part of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, home to some of the most biologically diverse habitat in Alabama. This preserved scenic area is also popular for camping, hiking with multiple trails available, and bird watching.
- Saraland’s mayor, Dr. Howard Rubenstein, currently serves as the President of the Alabama League of Municipalities. He is the only Mobile County elected official to be chosen for this statewide honor since 1979.
The area that was to become the present day Saraland was included in a Spanish land grant to Don Diago Alvarez. Hence, descendants of Alvarez were the ones to give the community its first name – Alvarez Station. Later land squatters moved into the area and were able, legally, in 1800 to begin purchasing property. In 1807 a land office was opened in St. Stephens to handle all land transactions. Some of the pioneer families who seized the opportunity to buy up sections were named Alvarez, Rice, Hartley, Moore, LaCoste, Williams, Tool and Cleveland. Ultimately, Alvarez Station was called Cleveland Station. The present name of the city is reported to have been given by C.J. DeWitt, a retired minister editor who moved south in 1890 for health reasons. He opened the first post office on the Southern Railroad in 1895. The Community is purported to be the namesake of his beloved wife, Sara.
Saraland was sparsely populated during the first part of the 20th century, until an industrial and population boom occurred in neighboring Mobile. Northward expansion of Mobile in the 1940’s and 1950’s brought about the incorporation of Saraland in 1957. At the time of incorporation, the city reported only 125 residents. By the 1960 U.S. Census, annexations had swelled the population to 4,595. In 1980, census figures cited 9,844 Saraland residents. Current census records report that as of 2000, Saraland’s population has grown to 12,288.