I am ecstatic to share with you the story of Fountainview Mansion from the viewpoint of Dr. John Mitchell. He dreamed of an old english home for his family and with the help of a talented architect created this magnificent mansion he and his brilliant wife, Deborah, call home. Their children and grandchildren love making memories in the mansion alongside the family's canine companion, Callie. Dr. Mitchell is overjoyed to share their story with you and invites you to create memories and love stories that last a lifetime at his family's dearly loved Fountainview Mansion.
"I was recruited to start the heart program in the Auburn/Opelika area in 1985. I was fresh out of college/medical school/internship/residency/fellowship and had NO furniture to put in the tiny condo I had purchased. Just down the road from me lived Ann Fuller, who traveled to England twice yearly to purchase antiques that she sold out of her house on Morris Avenue in Opelika. When I went to look at what she had recently brought from England I found rooms full of exquisite old English antiques. I proceeded to spend my first two paychecks on those beautiful pieces and over the years have continued to gradually add to the collection of antiques.
After looking for property on which to build a house, I found 200 acres within the city limits of Auburn, something that, as Auburn has continued to rapidly grow, would be unheard of today. I knew I wanted to build a house somewhere on that large plot, but I did not realize what I had purchased until one day as I was walking the property I walked through a thicket of trees and saw a rising summit and knew at that moment that I had found the perfect home site. That is now the site of Fountainview Mansion.
I had previously worked with Gaines Blackwell, an Auburn University professor in architecture who specializes in house designs, when he helped me with an addition to a house in which I had previously lived in Beauregard. It was always a pleasure to work with him, not just because he was so talented, but he made the whole process fun and a learning experience for me. I told him I wanted an "Old English house", one that would not look new when it was built. He literally brought me a stack of books that rose 4 to 5 feet high. I looked at pictures and designs and gardens of 100's of houses, mostly in England, and I found two houses that became the "mold" for what I had in mind, and Gaines worked from there to design what is now Fountainview Mansion. It took more than three years to build (1999-2002), but I am extremely proud of the final product.
When Deborah and I married, I had a house in Auburn and she had a 1910 estate home in West Point, Georgia, both houses of which were full of many fine antiques. We thought that between the two of us that we would have plenty of furniture to fill up Fountainview Mansion. But OH NO!!! However, we have had tons of fun adding pieces and we continue to add things. The oldest piece is from the 1750's, a wooden trunk (that we use as a coffee table in our reading room) from an English warship.
Fountainview Mansion is our home and we would love to share it with you to produce many loving memories like we have made. Deborah and I look forward to seeing you!" -Dr. John Mitchell