A Visit to Adaland

I’m taking you on another one of my ‘history tours’ that I enjoyed while I was in West Virginia doing research for my Refined by Love series and Chapel Car Bride. For many years I’d heard my sister mention the home located a short distance from Philippi, known as Adaland. In addition to tours of the house and grounds, many weddings and other social events are hosted in the mansion and on the grounds. And since one of my sister’s friends is a docent at the mansion, Adaland was on my “to be seen” list. Of course, we wanted to go when Jada would provide the tour for us and give us a little of the inside scoop.

My expectations were high, and I wasn’t disappointed. This beautiful land on Fox Grape Run lay idle until purchased by the Modisett family in 1807. Don’t you love the name, Fox Grape Run? When I was little, we visited relatives on Plum Run, but I really like the name Fox Grape Run. Here in Kansas, we have creeks instead of runs, but in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, “runs” are common usage. Sorry—I got off topic and took you down a bunny trail with me.

The original home was a log structure. It wasn’t until 1868 that construction of this Greek Revival Mansion was begun by one of the Modisett sons. Until the acreage was sold to Judge Robinson in 1920, it was known as the Modisett farm. After purchasing the home and property, the judge began renovations and renamed it for his wife, Ada Sinsel Robinson. We enjoyed a wonderful tour of the home, and Jada played the psaltery for us. I gave it a try and thought I might purchase one—then I decided it would have to wait until I had a little more time. But one of these days…

I included this ‘picture of a picture’ that hangs in the dining room of Adaland because the young couple, Phoebe Pullison and Arlie Woodford, are the great-great-grandparents of my niece. Arlie was the overseer at Adaland and he and Phoebe were the first couple to be married in the mansion.

Of course, whenever I see an old typewriter, I must include a picture. I hadn’t seen this exact model before, but I’m glad I have a computer instead of an old manual typewriter. Producing a manuscript on a manual typewriter, using carbon paper and an eraser to correct errors now seems as antiquated as driving a Model T.

A good portion of the land was eventually sold to coal companies and the mansion was even used as office space. Can you imagine that? Eventually, to preserve the historic significance of the property, the house, barn, carriage house and about twenty acres were signed over to the City of Philippi and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Renovations have been significant and costly, but well worth the time, effort and money. Adaland is a true jewel. If you ever find yourself near Fox Grape Run—stop in and have a glass of sweet tea and listen to the magical music of a psaltery. You’ll enjoy the step back in time.

May you find joy as you rest in Him. ~Judy


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3 Responses to A Visit to Adaland

  1. I love your descriptions of your research, Judy! I love the name Fox Grape Run.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. judithmccoymiller says:

    Hi Cheryl,
    Going places and researching is one of my favorite things. It’s always so much fun to learn about our history. I miss you guys!


  3. I miss you, too, and we’re so much farther away now. Maybe we can have a retreat in Wyoming someday–or Colorado.


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