Location: Northampton County, North Carolina
Surnames/tags: Mason Moody Wright
Woodland was the name of the plantation John Mason Moody bought in 1846 and expanded and renovated by Jacob Holt about 1850. Jack and all the family members from Mississippi called the plantation “Woodlawn”. Martha and local people refer to it as “Woodland”.
The home was located on the Garysburg- Gaston Road in Northampton County, NC, not far from the intersection of Interstate 95. The house, needing paint, but in generally good condition remained there until 1995, exactly as it had been in John Mason Moody’s time. In 1995 the house was bought by a Jacob Holt fan and moved and reassembled in Efland, N.C., near Hillsborough. Although it is wonderful that the Jacob Holt Italianate and Victorian details have survived, its rebuilding is in many ways unfortunate. The house is built on a high stone basement. Dormers and a cupola have been added, changing the roofline. The stair has been reversed. The fireplaces have been moved from their original positions. The room arrangements on the right hand side of the downstairs have been altered. The house was renamed “Elysiana”, although I believe they are again now calling it Woodland. I never saw Woodland as it was originally, although I have many photographs obtained from the North Carolina Archives. By the time I had located it, the house was in the process of being disassembled. I have visited the home in Efland.
The large twelve room weather boarded structure had expansive rooms. Fifteen inch intricate plaster molding of a fruit design was made in Petersburg and was a cornice in all the downstairs rooms. Of course this did not survive the disassembly. Ornate cast iron medallions supported chandeliers in the front and back halls. The baseboards were marbleized painting. The original paint was still on the woodwork when moved. The rooms on the left hand side downstairs were connected by paneled doors on either side of the fireplace which could be lifted (like garage doors) so the space could be opened up for parties or balls. A full basement of six rooms, fireplaces and a wine cellar may have served as quarters for household servants.
Virginia Leigh Refo, November 14, 2012
- Many thanks to cousin Virginia Leigh Refo whose research and transcriptions added to this profile. The originals were donated to the Library of Virginia in 2004 by Liz Edens Vermillion with the help of Virginia Refo [Moody Family Papers, 1750-1881. Accession 40535, Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.]