THE JEMISON-VAN DE GRAAFF MANSION

CONSTRUCTION

The Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion was constructed by state senator Robert Jemison, Jr. between 1859-1863. This mansion was the senator's city residence and intended to be a place for hosting important colleagues and upscale parties. The Jemison's spared no expense to create this state-of-the-art city home.  The Italianate style house was designed by Philadelphia architect John Stewart who was in Tuscaloosa supervising the construction of Bryce Hospital. The Jemison home incorporated the latest innovations in design and technology including an elaborate plumbing system which included running water, flush toilets, and a copper bath tub; a large conservatory to be warmed by a central heating plant (which was never installed due to the Yankee blockade) and indoor lighting fueled by coal gas manufactured in a machine located in the basement.  Other modern features incorporated in the design were a boiler for producing hot water, a gas stove, an early form of “refrigerator” and a dumb waiter from the basement kitchen to the pantry located above.

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HISTORICAL FIGURES

Senator Jemison was not the only important historical figure in this family. Colonel Hargrove, the senator's son-in-law was originally a colonel in the Civil War, but went on to be Speaker of the Alabama House and dean of the UA Law School. Hargrove's grandson's also went on to make names for themselves. William Van de Graaff was Alabama's first All-American football player and his brother, Robert Van de Graaff was a brilliant physicist most well known for his invention of the Van de Graaff Generator. Robert Van de Graaff's accomplishments led to his legacy in the science community as the Father of Modern Physics. Learn more about the amazing people who called this mansion home at one of our free-to-the-public tours!

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VISIT THE MANSION

The Mansion is available for touring every Tuesday-Saturday at 3:30pm. Group and school tours are also available by calling the Preservation Society at 205-758-2238 or emailing us at info@historictuscaloosa.org. 

Love the look and feel of the Jemison Mansion? You can also rent our space for private parties, meetings and events! Find out more at the link below. 

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PEEK INSIDE

Want to see more of the Mansion before you visit? Check out the video below for some beautiful footage and fun facts about the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion. 

TUSCALOOSA County PRESERVATION SOCIETY

Please call the Executive Office at
(205) 758-2238 or email info@historictuscaloosa.org

TCPS Office
P.O. Box 1665

Tuscaloosa, AL 35403

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©2018 by Tuscaloosa Preservation Society