This mansion, constructed in 1868, is of Greek Revival style architecture, evidenced by its facade--two story pillars support the structure and the Greek-Revival style doorway. The bricks of the mansion's bearing walls were fired on site and supposedly, the timber was also cut on the property for the interior staircases and trim of the mansion. Likewise, the integrity of the building has been preserved. Although, James David Corder was the architect, freed black slaves actually built the mansion and lived on the property in slave quarters, which remained on the property until they were torn down in 1940. There are twelve domestic rooms in all: four bedrooms, maid's quarters, two libraries, one living room, two parlors, a kitchen and dining room, and in 1920, two bathrooms were added on the second floor. In addition, there is a "handyman's room" on the second room, also probably added around the same time as the bathrooms in 1920, and the breakfast room on the first story. This property also has two contributing buildings that take their places alongside the mansion on the National Register of Historic Places: the carriage house (built in 1872), which sits adjacent to the mansion, and the barn, which dates to the 19th century, and provided the owners with storage space for animals and farm equipment. The mansion itself was completed in 1872. In 1996, the whole 20 acre property was donated by Philippi Development Coal Company to the city of Philippi and it remains under the ownership of a nonprofit, Adaland Mansion, Inc. After its restoration to its former glory, the site opened in 1999 to the general public.
Backstory and Context
Uriah and his wife also sold their son, Augustus, 443 acres of their land. Augustus built his mansion high atop the hill on this land in order to assert his wealth and power to his neighbors. The construction of the house spans the years 1868-1872, with completion during 1880. Like many wealthy landowners, Modesitt and a friend hired brothers, James and John Moots, to serve as substitutes in the Civil War. Modesitt was a very influential person in Barbour County; indeed, from 1866-1869, he occupied the office of Sheriff of Barbour County, and was key in establishing the Masonic Lodge, which was established in 1870.
Long after Modesitt would pass away in 1881, the honorable Judge Ira E. Robinson would abide in the mansion from 1920-1950. Robinson would bestow the name it holds today, Adaland, to honor his wife and daughter. He would serve as a lawyer and from the point he was admitted to the bar in 1891, his law career would take him to Washington to serve as a member of the Federal Radio Commission by charter, appointed by President Coolidge. Before this, he served the state in various capacities, starting as a prosecuting attorney in Taylor County from 1897-1900.