Edward Martineau Perine

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Edward Martineau Perine (July 31, 1809 – June 5, 1905) was a merchant and planter in Cahaba, Alabama. Born at Southfield, Staten Island, New York, a son of Edward and Addra Guyon Perine, and a descendant of Daniel Perrin, "the Huguenot", Perine moved to Cahaba, Alabama,[when?] and became a merchant and wealthy plantation owner. He established a store on the west side of Vine Street in downtown Cahaba. He later became a member of the firm of Perine & Hunter. Anna M. Gayle Fry, writing in her book Memories of Old Cahaba, describes E. M. Perine as "a merchant prince of ante-bellum days, a Northern gentleman of the old school who was universally beloved by all who knew him."

The Perine Store.

Perine first married Mary Eliza Snow (1816–1838) of Providence, Rhode Island, on September 13, 1836, in Milledgeville, Georgia. She died at Cahaba, Alabama, from complications of childbirth. The union produced one child, Mary Eliza Perine. Mary Eliza Perine wrote in an autobiography,

My father! It is said I am especially fond of gentlemen. Why should I not be? My father was a gentleman; and, judging all men by him (my standard of a true, honorable, noble image of the Almighty's master-piece) how can I keep, if simply out of respect for my father, from loving his sex? My father! That one word contained my child-world. He was to me all—mother, father, sister, brother, and everything except grandmother; for I had a grandmother. . . .

Perine Mansion in Cahaba, Alabama.

Perine's second marriage was to Frances E. Hunter (1825 - ????) of Sparta, Alabama, on August 6, 1846. Their children were Sarah, Addra, Frances, and Anna Perine.

Perine Mansion in the 1890s.

In the 1850s, Perine built a palatial, twenty-six-room brick mansion at the foot of Vine Street. On the grounds of the estate were a conservatory, vineries,[clarification needed] and an artesian well, with a flow now estimated at 1,250 gallons per minute. At the time it was thought to be the deepest well in the world, at nine hundred feet. It had a stream of water gushing and falling into a large cement basin, from which it was channeled off through the grounds in cement branches to the pastures beyond. Water from this well was also forced through pipes into the mansion, making it the first air conditioned home in Alabama.

Perine died June 5, 1905, at Pleasant Hill, Dallas County, Alabama.

Perine Mansion Ruins.