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Jemison-Van De Graaff Mansion

1305 Greensboro Avenue
Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, 35401

Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion in Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
Photo: Altairisfar License: CC BY-SA 3.0
The Jemison–Van de Graaff Mansion is a historic house in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Primarily completed in 1862, some items were never completed as planned due to the war and the resulting Union blockade of the South, the house made use of the latest technology. This included an elaborate plumbing system which featured running water, flush toilets, a hot water boiler, and a copper bathtub. This was some of the earliest modern plumbing in the state. The property also had its own coal gas plant, which provided the mansion with gas lighting and fueled a kitchen stove.

Jemison died at the mansion on October 16, 1871. The property remained in the hands of his descendants into the 20th century. Robert Jemison's best-known descendant, Robert Jemison Van de Graaff, was born there in 1901.

The house was sold to J.P. and Nell Burchfield in 1945, who would later complete the first major restoration. Following their ownership it was converted to use as Tuscaloosa's Friedman Public Library from 1955 until 1979. Once the library was relocated it was used by two national publications, first Horizon and then Antique Monthly. Finally, it was acquired by the Jemison–Van de Graaff Mansion Foundation in 1991.

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