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This stately brick home at Philippi, West Virginia is set against the rolling hills of Barbour County and was built in 1870. The mansion house has been restored with great attention to authenticity and features homemade brick and walnut woodwork throughout. The house and land reflect the early history of West Virginia with the original owners engaged in farming. Emancipated slaves from the farm worked on the construction of the house. The surrounding area is rich in civil war history with the first land battle of the war fought in Philippi in June 1861.
A history of the house is given along with a tour of the rooms and basement area. Tours include the mansion house, barn and gift shop. Children under 12 years are free with parents. Buses are accommodated by the wide paved road to the barn where modern handicapped accessible restrooms are available. Parking is available at the house and barn.
The Barn at Adaland was constructed about 1850 by the son of the original settler of the land. It is of post and beam construction with yellow poplar and other hardwoods used in the interior. Rafters were attached to the 8 inch x 8 inch beams by cutting a slot and inserting the rafter which was then fastened with wooden pegs.
Special events at the barn include the demonstrations of spinning, carding, weaving, candle making and outdoor cooking along with other early crafts. Trails leading from the barn are available for walking to view birds, wild life and plants on the grounds.
As spring begins in April, hundreds of daffodils bloom along the mansion driveway. By mid-May, an array of iris varieties bloom in the garden. The historic bed features irises from the 1920's and early 1930's. In June, the ramblers and old fashioned roses bloom in the formal gardens that can be enjoyed from the access stairway as well as along the brick walkways. An herb garden showcases a variety of plants including heirloom tomatoes. By mid-summer day lilies dominate the terrace garden area and the butterfly garden attracts many visitors as the perennial garden beds continue blooming through the fall. Birds are in abundance in the gardens and on the grounds.
The gardens are accessible by stairs or from the barn parking lot. Additions to the garden area include the pergola and a wedding arbor in the terrace area.
The gift shop offers one of a kind items by local artisians: handmade quilted purses in a variety of fabrics and colors; handwoven reed baskets by local basket makers; hand blown glass balls; local wines from West Virginia; barbed wire wreathes for decorating; handcrafted wood items; local pottery, handmade jewelry, and bird and squirrel feeders.
Books by local writers are also available: “Adaland —The Historic Restoration“ outlines the restoration of the property with pictures from the Adaland files; “Judge Ira E. Robinson, West Virginia Statesman and Man of Letters“ based on the papers of Robinson; as well as “Ira E. Robinson, Owner of Adaland.“ All by Barbara A. Smith. Other books include the “Saga of the Modisett Ranch“ by Sybil Ikes Malmberg Berdt.
Beginning November 15, the Christmas season attracts the most visitors. Every room is decorated with sparkling ornaments and twinkling lights that combine holiday traditions with special themes including an Art Deco tree, the feather tree in the Victorian Parlor, the grand tree in the double parlors, Edwardian decorations in the main dining room and the traditional hospitality pineapple over the outside entrance.
Regular tours run through December 31. Other festivities include an open house, two Sunday afternoon buffets, a candlelight tour, a Christmas buffet tea, a high tea, a royal tea, and a New Year's Eve buffet to close the season.