Bobby's Bama: Burritt on the Mountain

By Bobby Shuttleworth - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF)- The 1936 Burritt mansion is often called the "Jewel on the Mountain".

Dr. William Henry Burritt built an eclectic mansion, but on the day electricity was turned on....

"It burned to the ground," said Caroline Kelly, Burritt on the Mountain Development Director.

Dr. Burritt's X-shaped mansion was rebuilt after the fire.

Kelly said Dr. Burritt lived 'green', and so his house was build with that in mind.

"First of all, light. It was very light in here. During the winter it helps with heat," said Kelly.

She said it cools down in the winter too, thanks to cross ventilation and walls stuffed with straw.

There are plenty more little details like that within the house. There are exquisite mantels made of local materials, including locally quarried stone, and there are original color palletes in the parlor.

Right now at Burritt on the Mountain visitors can catch an exhibit within an exhibit. The exhibit focuses on time and how we measure it.

"We have the most fabulous exhibit of clocks from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries," said Kelly.

Kelly said the clock collection came from the National Association of Clock Collectors.

Masters of the past from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and more transformed a simple timepiece into an art form.

A saw clock has a "middle" which rises along the "teeth" of the saw. Some clocks look like radios, some have brand names that are easily recognizable, while some have no facing, so the owner can see how the clock works.

Watches and pocket watches are also on display.

Master tools used on these pieces are so small that we are in awe of the talent, skill and time it took creating these pieces.

The Burritt Mansion seems to be suspended in time. And what better place for the watch and clock exhibit. It's treasure within a treasure in Bobby's BAMA.

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