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2017 ARCHIVES | 2018 NEWS | 2016 ARCHIVES

Tour Adaland at Christmas


Adaland’s Christmas finery casts a magical charm over the entire 1870 home, and visitors have just a few more days to tour the historic house all decked out for the holidays before it closes its doors for the 2017 season. Touring the house would be a great way to share with Christmas visitors one of the area’s historic gems.


Sitting in the corner of the first-floor blue parlor is the sophisticated white tree shown left. Ten additional decorated Christmas trees grace rooms throughout the house’s remaining rooms and basement.

Adaland’s Volunteers Deck the Halls!


The major Christmas transformation happens annually because community volunteers come to Adaland and unload the attic, set up the trees, cart storage tubs brimming with decorations to rooms throughout the house, hang wreaths from the outside windows, and help with the actual decorating so the hundreds of Christmas visitors can enjoy Adaland Christmas.


Pictured right is the group of young men from Sigma Delta Nu of Alderson Broaddus University who lent their helping hands to climb ladders, string lights, and decorate trees. Front Row:  Dillon Schoolcraft, Jacob Spellman, Tanner Cramer, Colton Davis; Back Row:  Taylor Ball, Garret Johnson, Corey Payne.


Open House, Bake Shop, Buffet Dinner Await Visitors to Adaland Mansion


Begin the joyous season of Christmas with the Christmas Open House and Bake Shop. Besides soaking in the ambiance of the Neo Greek 1870 mansion decked out in her Christmas finery, guests may also purchase holiday treats from the Bake Shop set up that day. All guests will also receive light refreshments, compliments of Adaland.


The elegant red Christmas tree overseeing the dining room table in the left photo will welcome guests to the Christmas Buffet Dinner. Adaland’s veteran cook Lucy Williamson will treat guests to two entrees, a selection of sides, crisp green salad with her famous dressing, homemade rolls and breads, and a dessert table laden with a variety of treats. A guaranteed-to-please meal!

Adaland’s Gift Shop and Open House

Make Perfect Combo for Christmas Visit


The Gift Shop is overflowing with collectibles and hand crafted items by local artisans. Handmade soaps, church dolls, and locally produced honey along with beautiful wildflower prints are just a few of the items for sale in Adaland Mansion’s gift shop.


Guests visiting Adaland During the Open House will find the visit to be the ideal time to soak up the festive ambiance of the 1870 Neo Greek home all decked out in her Christmas finery. The day’s visit to the Mansion is open to the public at no cost and includes free light refreshments.

Adaland Ushers in Holiday Season With High Tea


A perfect way to usher in the holiday season with special friends is the High Tea. A savory course of tea sandwiches and antipasto sticks, pictured left, will be the third course guests enjoy during Adaland’s personal twist on the traditional English afternoon tea.


As is typical, the High Tea will open with Adaland’s favorite orange and cranberry scones. A fresh fruit and cheese course will follow then the savory course. A variety of never empty tea pots are always part of the afternoon tea. All this will be concluded with the sweets course. Sweet lovers will find themselves in seventh heaven when they taste the chocolate trifle, two kinds of cookies, and perhaps a plum pudding celebrating the season.



Chef James DeCarlo featured at Adaland’s Celebrate Local! dinner


As always with this dinner series, the dinner features foods from the region and celebrates a regional chef well known for his/her culinary magic. This season’s third of three dinners features Chef James DeCarlo, chef at Vintage Restaurant and Wine Bar in Elkins.


Chef James’ specially created dinner will begin with a salad course of kale, Brussels sprouts, roasted beets and goat cheese crumbles dressed with a chili orange vinaigrette. The entrée course will have a choice of meats, duchess potatoes, roasted zucchini and carrots, and vintage scratch-made rolls. The meal will be topped off with persimmon bread pudding with cranberry compote and honey crème anglais.

Chef Geoffrey Kraus Brings Farm to Table Menu to Adaland Mansion


Chef Geoffrey Kraus, executive chef and co-owner of Thyme Bistro of Weston, adds his culinary magic to our annual Celebrate Local! dinner series.


The beautifully presented pumpkin dessert pictured left is from his 2016 dinner. The September 24, 2017 dinner will begin with a Lanagan Lodge apple cider fizz mocktail and fennel-onion bisque with crispy onion tangles.  The main course features a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with honey and thyme/celery root puree/black pepper, chevre whipped potatoes, and flash fried spinach.  Finishing off this mouthwatering dinner is a WV apple stack cake with warm salted caramel and Pernod cream.

Adaland’s Heritage Day Celebrates “Apple Festival Time”


At the barn, visitors  enjoy a variety of heritage arts. Adaland guide Betty Carr, pictured right, shares the history of the Apple Star, a design visible upon cutting an apple horizontally.


The idea of “Apple Festival Time” came about this year as a way to celebrate Adaland’s history with apples.  The Modisett family, builders and original owners of Adaland Mansion, raised a variety of apples on their farm from 1807 to 1881. At that time, apples were harvested and sold as well as made into apple jack, a strong apple-flavored alcoholic beverage made from apples popular during the American colonial period.  Kegs of apple jack are listed in the will of Uriah Modisett, a Modisett family member.  Apple jack was sold or traded for needs of the family and as such can be seen as part of the early history of Barbour County, WV.

Covered Bridge Piecemakers Donate

Another Quilt to Adaland Mansion


Many of the beautiful hand made quilts used in the bedrooms  have been made and donated to the historical home by the Covered Bridge Piecemakers, a group of local women who have been quilting together since April 1996.


Current members of the Piecemakers are pictured above with their most recent creation, which has been added to Adaland’s bride’s room. (from left Martha Rose Roy, Phyllis Martin, Jody Sperry, Jane Digman, Marj Campbell, Mary Ellen Sparks, and Barbara Springer).


second Summer Sunday Buffet Dinner of the season


Always a favorite meal, the buffet will featured two entrees, various sides, a crisp salad with Lucy’s secret dressing, homemade bread and rolls, and the dessert sideboard filled with luscious desserts.  Adaland’s veteran cook Lucy Williamson had the dining table loaded with favorite foods for this Sunday afternoon treat.


Pictured to the right are dining guests serving themselves from the buffet this summer.



Laura Jackson Arnold Visits Adaland Via “Dearest Sister”


Adaland is most pleased to serve as the showcase for Philippi playwright Alma J. Bennett who brings one of WV’s important historical figures, Laura Jackson Arnold, the sister of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, to life in “Dearest Sister.”


Her one act play  tells about Laura’s life and relationship with her famous brother. In 1844 when she was 18, Laura married Jonathan Arnold and moved to Beverly.  Following the Battle of Rich Mountain in 1861, Federal troops occupied Beverly, a VA town that had strong Confederate sympathies.  In stark contrast, Laura Jackson Arnold was an outspoken Unionist, even nursing wounded Union soldiers in her Beverly home.  Laura’s Union support created fissures in the once close relationship between Laura and her brilliant Confederate military leader brother.


Lydia Mong will repeat her performance of Laura Jackson Arnold

in “Dearest Sister”


 The 2017 summer’s production is a two scene play of “Dearest Sister,” the first scene being the original scene, and the second one being a new one detailing what happened to Arnold after a fateful letter is delivered at the end of scene one.


Audience members will discover the rest of Arnold’s life as she nurses both North and South troops in her Beverly, VA home, her activities as a staunch supporter of the Union in Confederate-leaning Beverly, and her marriage and family life as the war rages around her.

High and Royal Teas Await Adaland Guests


Specialty teas have become a hallmark of the 1870’s restored home. The teas celebrate a social event that may well have played out in the Neo-Greek home when the original Modisett family built and lived in the mansion.


Adaland offers afternoon High Tea and evening Royal Tea. Scones and hot teas will begin the afternoon and evening teas, followed by a fresh fruit course, then a savories course including a variety of tea sandwiches, and a concluding sweets course. To the basic four courses of the High Tea menu will be added other savories and a complimentary glass of champagne with strawberries for the Royal Tea.

how to use the spindle, a tool used in hand spinning.


Whether guests are intrigued by learning how to use a spindle, or the art of soap making, or the process used for brickmaking, or weaving, or corn grinding, or the art of the blacksmith, Adaland Mansion is the place during the annual “Day at the Barn” in June. The free admission event at the historical grounds features local craftspersons who are interested in preserving the history of the area.


At left is Jada Nelson who will demonstrating how to use the spindle, a tool used in hand spinning.  Nelson will be remembered for her portrayal of Nancy Modisett as she conducted guided tours of Adaland Mansion and for her work with the spindle and the psaltery.


Annual day at the Barn includes scavenger hunt


Adaland staff is planning on a scavenger hunt at the barn to introduce guests to little known facts about the barn, its construction, and its use.  A prize awaits the winner of the hunt.  And for all, cookies and snacks will be available for purchase during the Day at the Barn.


Betty Carr, a long-time employee and volunteer at Adaland Mansion,  showed how to make soap in addition to displaying the process used to make bricks.  The brick making process is most probably the same process used by the Modisett family when they built the mansion in 1870.

Betty Carr, tour guide and heritage skills demonstrator,
works with visiting children at Adaland Heritage Day AT the Barn


Heritage Day at the Barn directs the spotlight on the restored barn where a varied collection of reproductions of equipment and tools owned by Augustus Modisett, builder of the mansion house, are displayed.  The Modisett farm was settled in 1807 with the Modisett family living in a double log cabin on the property until the mansion house was built in 1872.



barn loom being erected in Adaland's barn


In the right picture are Millie and Gary Goetz. Millie has been weaving for several years having begun her love of weaving in Dearborn, MI and continuing it through involvement with the Fiber Arts Guild at Jackson’s Mill.  Today Millie and husband Gary own numerous looms including one enormous old barn loom in the process of being erected in Adaland’s barn.


Gary Goetz was a mechanical engineer who became intrigued with the operation of looms. He now knows the weaving technique along with Millie and has a “his” loom, just as Millie has a “hers” loom. In addition to showing the art of weaving to barn guests, the Goetzes will also be demonstrating corn grinding.

1900 Wedding Dress Becomes Part of

Adaland Mansion’s Historic Collection


One hundred and seventeen years after making its premier appearance in the Philippi home once owned by the Modisett family, the wedding gown worn by Phoebe Patterson when she married Arla DeWitt Woodford has returned to Adaland Mansion.


Patterson and Woodford were married in March 1900 in a wedding memorialized in a picture now hanging in the green room of Adaland Mansion  In the picture is the smiling bridal couple and wedding party posed on the front porch of the 1870 home.  Phoebe Patterson Woodford is wearing the gown pictured to the right.


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PO Box 74

Philippi, WV 26416


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