John Sledge isn’t just a member of one of Mobile’s more noted families, but has a long-cultivated reputation as a Mobile renaissance man. He’s an architectural historian, a former books editor for the town’s daily newspaper and an author.

His latest work focuses on a waterway of ultimate importance to his hometown, the Mobile River. The public is invited to the launch of this work on the banks of that river, at the History Museum of Mobile (11 S. Royal St.) on Wednesday, July 10, from 5-7 p.m.

The evening will feature hors d’oeuvres, a book signing and music from the combo Kracker Dan. No registration is required as the event is free and sponsored by the museum, Mobile Bay Magazine and Page & Jones, Inc.

The book itself was inspired by the “Rivers of America” series and interlaces chronological, personal and thematic elements as more than 60 images complete the journey.

“John S. Sledge tells the Mobile River’s story with style, grace and insight,” Harvey H. Jackson III, professor emeritus of history at Jacksonville State University, said. “I cannot think of another study where the connections between a stream and a city are more clearly identified and explained.”

Copies — both regular and special editions, $34.95 and $100, respectively — will be available for purchase.

For more information about this event, contact the museum relations officer at 251-208-7652 or

Exploreum science camps
Have a younger family member with potential or interest in science? You know there’s an option for their entertainment and cultivation other than parking them in front of the Science Channel for the next month or so, right? The Gulf Coast Exploreum is still offering summer camps to interested Mobilians and in various age groups. The ones listed below are for ages 7-14, but they also offer camps for ages 4-6. You can find more info on those on their webiste

Ages 7-8
Full STE(A)M Ahead!
July 13-17
All budding engineers, architects and inventors are invited to come experiment with balance and gravity while challenging their creative side. Campers will utilize a variety of materials constructing buildings, bridges and flying contraptions as they learn all about science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Can You Dig It?
July 20-24
Curious kids will follow in the tracks of dinosaurs and the individuals who study them. Campers will dig into excavation pits, catalogue and experiment with dinosaur eggs and even make their very own fossils.

July 27-31
This is for aspiring veterinarians, lion tamers and zoologists. From the tiniest lemur to the largest elephant, campers will get a unique look at the creatures with which we share the world.

All About Me!
Aug. 3-7
Participants will have the rare opportunity to hold a real brain, dissect a sheep’s heart and even pump up a set of pig’s lungs. While exploring all the unique ways our body functions interact, they’ll also meet with real professionals to learn about biology and health and see themselves in a whole new way.

Ages 9-11
Timey Wimey II: Allons-Y
July 13-17
If it gets you across space and time, wheezes and whirs, and comes with its own madman, what is it? Dr. Who’s TARDIS, of course! In the second round of traveling through space and time with The Doctor, explore ancient cultures, alien worlds and different futures while learning about the science behind time, geology, meteorology and more.

Color Me Crazy
July 20-24
While exploring the science behind color, campers will be able to learn some history about art and techniques commonly used by artists while making unique creations of their own.

Cardboard Chaos
July 27-31
With some engineering and creativity, campers transform recycled cardboard into majestic functional bridges, household furniture and even a city. Who wouldn’t want to play Godzilla for the day and knock down their own cardboard capitals?

Creepy Science
Aug. 3-7
Have a bent for all things creepy? Frankenstein, mummies, vampires and monsters of all kinds will be exposed to science, experimentation and curiosity before delving into the history and the culture surrounding each ghoulish creature, separating science fiction from science fact.

Ages 12-14
3D CAD-ets
July 13-17
In this 3-D printer course, campers will begin with a basic training on software, then configure, slice and print. They gain the opportunity to take their ingenuity from the 2-D page and into the world of 3-D. This camp has limited space, and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

All camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and do not include lunches or snacks. Campers are welcome to bring their own or can buy them from the Exploreum Café. Please contact the education department if your child has food allergies or if you have other questions. Late pick-ups are charged a fee of $1 per minute per camper after pick-up time.

Registration directions and pricing can be found at For more info, call 251-208-6849.