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Adaland Mansion introduces book on restoration

October 29, 2011
The Inter-Mountain

Adaland Mansion Development Inc. in cooperation with the West Virginia Humanities Council Inc. will present the new book, "Adaland: The Historic Restoration," to the public at 2 p.m. Sunday at Adaland Mansion.

The author of the book, Barbara A. Smith of Philippi, will be honored during the afternoon presentation. Other guests who have been of special assistance to Adaland also will be recognized.

Smith is a well-known local researcher and writer who has published more than 250 books and articles. She has maintained a close relationship with Adaland and has written two books about Judge Ira E. Robinson, a jurist and prominent West Virginia lawyer, who owned the Adaland property from 1920 to 1950.

Friends of Adaland and those who have volunteered or worked on the historic restoration project, along with the general public, are invited to attend the event. Visitors should call 304-457-2515 or 304-457-1587 for reservations. Copies of the book will be available for a donation.

The book was made possible through a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funds were made available from Adaland Mansion Development Inc. of Philippi.

Adaland and the book have been works in progress since 1996 when Philippi Development Coal Co., a part of Anker Energy, donated the 20-acre property to the city of Philippi. The mansion house was built in 1870 by Augustus Modisett and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since opening to the public in 1999, the mansion house, carriage house and barn have been restored. Gardens, a large pavilion and an additional restroom building also have been constructed.

Today, Adaland Mansion Development Inc., a non-profit organization, owns the property. Adaland Mansion offers historic guided tours, weddings, special events, dinners, luncheons, teas and a Christmas celebration to approximately 4,500 people each year from May 1 to Dec. 31.

In the book, Smith offers a detailed narrative of the property along with the history of property owners from 1807 to 1996. Pictures taken during the restoration process highlight its progress. A description of the construction of the neo-Greek mansion house as evidenced by observation during restoration and existing records is given.

A detailed history of the barn near the mansion house shows the kinds of crops and farm tools used by the Modisetts as evidenced by an appraisal inventory from the estate of Augustus Modisett, builder of the mansion house. The remainder of the book outlines the steps in planning, securing volunteers and the funding needed for restoration of the property. The purpose of the book is to provide information for those interested in historic preservation and restoration of historic sites. A guide in the front of the book outlines 10 steps for historians, cultural anthropologists, architects, educators and non-profit organizations interested in historic sites. Many colored pictures have been taken from the Adaland files and printed in the book for reference.

."The book is a joy with a wonderful readable narrative by the very talented Barbara Smith and it offers our experience and love in restoring the historic landmark," Dr. Ann Serafin, who served as co-chairman of the city of Philippi Adaland Restoration Committee and volunteer executive director at Adaland until this spring, said.

Copies of the book will be available for a donation at Adaland Mansion and by calling 304-457-2415 or 304-457-1587. Adaland is located four miles north of Philippi on Route 76.



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