Robert Jemison, Jr. (1878-1974)
The Father of Mountain Brook
A man of great vision, dream and enthusiasm, Robert Jemison, Jr. was by far the greatest real estate developer of Birmingham's 20th century. The Post-Herald newspaper dubbed him "Mr. Birmingham."
Jemison said abut Mountain Brook Estates "?landscape architects and engineers have adroitly blended the convenience of city life into this picturesque environment without disturbing nature's craftsmanship."
He built Mountain Brook Club, Mountain Brook Village, The Old Mill, Mountain Brook Grammar School, Mountain Brook Riding Academy and also Fairfield, Bush Hills, Ensley Highlands, Forest Park and Glen Iris.
He built the original Tutwiler Hotel, Ridgely Apartments, Empire Building, Jemison - Seibels Building, Stallings Building, Newberry Building, Porter Clothing Co. Building, Elmwood Cemetery and Redmont Gardens Apartments.
He handled the site acquisition for Country Club of Birmingham, City (Boutwell) Auditorium, Jefferson County Courthouse and Ramsay High School.
The Old Mill (1927)
On this site John Perryman operated a grist mill, from 1867 until 1887, which ground corn grown by local farmers.
The present structure, while not a working mill, was built in 1927 by Robert Jemison, Jr. as an attraction of his new development, Mountain Brook Estates. The picturesque building was designed by William H. Kessler. The contractor was Lewis Ford employing Tom Cox and George Eastis.
The Old Mill, under the management of Miss Frances Bomer, served breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Meals ranged from 50 cents to $1.75. Local residents found it to be a delightful rest stop while on horseback rides.
Perryman's old original millstone was unearthed and used in the current building' stone fireplace.
After the tearoom operation closed The Old Mill has been used as a private dwelling and for over 50 years was the home of William B. O'Neal. The Mill image is the official logo for the City of Mountain Brook.