May brings the full awakening of spring and the official opening of the 2013 season of Adaland Mansion at Philippi.
Adaland Mansion, Philippi's beautifully restored 1870 home 4 miles north of downtown Philippi, is open to the public from May 1 to Dec. 31 and hosts public and private events throughout the season. A Mother's Day buffet dinner will open this year's calendar of activities.
"Our annual Mother's Day Buffet Dinner is our first official public event on this year's calendar and an event looked forward to by our many regular visitors," said Ann Serafin, executive director of Adaland Mansion. "Because this annual celebration of that special person in our lives is such a special event for Adaland, we anticipate an overflow crowd for this year's dinner."
Regular visitors and those new to Adaland will find the buffet table in the formal dining room filled with delicious foods. Adaland's chef Lucy Williamson has her menu of two entrees, multiple sides, salad, homemade bread, drinks and dessert selections ready for the holiday meal.
Reservations are required by calling 304-457-2415 or 304-457-1587.
Besides being a special day for mothers, Mother's Day also has special significance for Adaland Mansion.
To trace the Mother's Day connection to Adaland requires going back in history to the early years of Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. She moved with her family prior to the Civil War from Culpeper, Va., to Philippi, where her father was a Methodist minister. In 1852, two years after marrying Granville Jarvis, the son of a Philippi Baptist minister, Ann Jarvis and her husband moved from Philippi to nearby Webster in Taylor County.
Ann Jarvis organized a series of Mothers' Day Work Clubs in Barbour and Taylor counties that worked to improve health and sanitary conditions.
These clubs also treated wounded Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. To help ease tensions after the war, Jarvis organized a Mothers' Friendship Day in Pruntytown to bring together soldiers and neighbors. The Mothers' Friendship Day was so successful it became an annual event for several years.
While in Grafton, the Rev. Granville Jarvis built and dedicated the Andrews Methodist Church in 1873, where Ann taught Sunday School for 25 years. After Ann died in 1905, her daughter Anna conducted a small tribute to her mother at Grafton's Andrews Methodist Church and led the efforts to establish a nationally recognized Mother's Day.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Congressional Resolution establishing the second Sunday in May as a national holiday for the celebration of Mother's Day. And in 1952, the General Conference of the Methodist Church officially designated Andrews Methodist Church as a National Methodist Shrine.
That National Methodist Shrine is better known today as the Mother's Day Shrine. In it is a stained glass window dedicated to Judge Ira E. Robinson, advocate for recognition of Mother's Day as a state holiday and former owner of Adaland Mansion at Philippi.