Amid the rolling hills of Barbour County lies an area rich in history through its many sites and monuments ready to tell their stories.
Perhaps the most well-known mark in Barbour County's history is that it is the site of the first land battle of the Civil War. The Philippi Covered Bridge was crossed by Union and Confederate troops in the historic battle, as the soldiers fought their way downtown.
The two-lane structure crossing the Tygart Valley River that was constructed in 1852 by Lemuel Chenoweth, and is still in use today. It was significantly damaged in the flood of 1985 and almost destroyed by fire in February 1989. The historic bridge was restored in 1991 to its original appearance. The restoration cost $1.4 million and kept the bridge closed to traffic until Sept 29, 1991.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Melissa Toothman
Among the hills of West Virginia rests an area rich with history. Barbour County is the home of the first land battle of the Civil War. Re-enactors bring the first land battle of the Civil War alive during the Blue and Gray Reunion each year with their representation of Union soldiers under the command of Cols. B.F. Kelley and Ebenezer Dumont marching through the Philippi Covered Bridge in 1861 and into town, advancing on the Confederate troops and firing weapons.
Visitors should also consider a stop at the Barbour County Museum, located across the tracks from the historic covered bridge. The former B&O Railroad Station was converted into a museum that features Civil War artifacts and the famous Philippi mummies.
The county's courthouse, located on Main Street and built in 1903, is still in use today. The hand-cut Hummelstown stone structure replaced the original 1843 courthouse used to house Union troops during the Civil War. The courthouse was restored in 1995 to include the replacement of the original stained glass dome.
Adaland Mansion, an 1870s restored mansion nestled on top the hills north of downtown Philippi, boasts Civil War elegance. This hilltop treasure was originally built by Irish settler Augustus Modisett.
But it wasn't always named Adaland. In 1920, Judge Ira Robinson, chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, renamed the land after his wife, Ada Sinsel Robinson. Previously, the 400-acre land and mansion was simply referred to as the Modissett Mansion, after its original occupants.
The mansion was carefully restored to preserve the time period and is now operated almost entirely by volunteers who provide guided tours, teas, events and education about the home and the families who resided in it. The mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Carrollton Covered Bridge is another one of Barbour County's rich historical monuments. The bridge was built in 1856 and is known as the second-longest and third-oldest covered bridge still in-tact in the state.
Teter Creek Lake and Audra State Park are other attractions that Barbour County has to offer.
At Teter Creek Lake on Route 92, north of Belington, visitors can enjoy public fishing, pavilions and picnic areas, and campsites.
Audra State Park visitors can enjoy hiking, camping and picnic areas, in addition to swimming in the Middle Fork River. Whitewater fun can be had on the Middle Fork River for those experienced with canoes and kayaks.