Anyone who has an interest in tea or its history should pay a visit to Adaland Mansion.
Located in Barbour County, the 400-acre property was originally settled in 1807 by Charles Modisett, who came with his family and nine slaves from the Loudoun County area in Virginia to farm the land. Modisett built a double log cabin, which later served as home to his son, Uriah, and eventually his grandson, Augustus.
Volunteers who work hard to keep the mansion open for interested guests, often host public or private teas with a historical flair. Volunteer tea hostesses explain how to brew the tea, the history of tea and various tea customs.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Melissa Toothman
Adaland Mansion, a Civil War house, keeps the history of the era alive within its walls with time-themed decor and household items and period wall coverings. Historic tours and lessons are given by many volunteers who devote their time to the home and its history.
Although tea is a very common drink today, it once was a product exclusive only to those who could afford such a specialty. Special buffet teas hosted at Adaland are announced on the annual calendar, as well as published in local newspapers. Reservations are required.
Visitors can book teas for special events, birthdays, weddings or other celebrations. Adaland Mansion hosts special arrangement teas such as royal and high tea, as well as buffet and afternoon teas.
High tea is a formal tea traditionally served in the afternoon at about 2 p.m. with four courses. Tea selections are individually served along with a formal presentation of traditional tea menu items such as scones, sandwiches, sweets and dessert. Menu selections can be made for high and royal teas at the time of booking.
Royal tea features a menu of the same options served with high tea and is served later in the afternoon. However, royal tea's courses may be extended to five or six, and champagne is served at the end. Adaland usually serves royal tea around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.
Buffet tea is usually served in the late morning or early afternoon with finger sandwiches, fruit, sweets and desserts all set up on a buffet table. Afternoon tea, usually hosted on Sunday, features fresh baked scones and an assortment of sandwiches and desserts served with hot or cold tea.