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Maplewood Farm, also known as the Sebrell-McCausland Farm, is located in Pliny, West Virginia. John Sebrell settled here sometime before 1850 and built the original brick house. When his nephew, John P. Sebrell, inherited the farm he built the current farm house on the site of the old house in 1870. In 1890 the farm was purchased by neighbor General John McCausland and it remains in the McCausland family today. General McCausland used tiles to drain swamp land to create agricultural land, the first system in West Virginia. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.


  • Main house at Maplewood
  • Sketch map of the property included in the National Register of Historic Places nomination

John Sebrell owned 575 acres of land and had slaves that worked the property (and are quite possibly buried there, as well). His brick home that no longer exists once stood onthe site of where the current farm house. John P. Sebrell, John Sebrell’s nephew, received the farm after his uncle’s death. John P. Sebrell utilized the first house’s foundation and constructed another house in 1870. After his death, John P. Sebrell’s widow successfully sold the farm, but ended up getting it back after the owners could not pay for the house. She asked her neighbor, General John McCausland, to buy her late husband’s farm. McCausland did buy the farm in three increments over a three year period. McCausland ended up creating his own drainage system so that the swampy land could be used for agriculture. He used ceramic tiles 2-24 inches wide and about 18 inches long to drain about one inch per 50 feet towards Big 16 Creek or catch basins. The Sebrell-McCausland farm, Grape Hill, and another farm were the first in the area to have drainage tiles. The system is still in use and unaltered, allowing the land to be used for farming.1

The farm changed hands in 1900, as John McCausland passed the farm down to his son Samuel. The name was changed to Maplewood by Samuel’s wife Amanda due to the number of sugar maple trees on the property. Samuel made the farm even bigger by buying surrounding farms. The farm over the years has had mules, cattle, sheep, orchards, and bee hives. Samuel like his father passed the farm down to his sons, with each son getting a third of the property1.

The McCausland Farm has many standing structures, including: Main House, Coal House, Chicken House, Well house, Schoolhouse/Storage Shed, Blacksmith Shop, Metal Corn Crib, Machine Shed, Main Barn, Hog Barn, Concrete silo, Sebrell-McCausland Cemetery, Jenny Lind House, Modern House (James McCausland), Modern House (McDermitt), House (Andrew McCausland), Hog House, shed, metal silos, Cooper Cemetery, Machine Shed, and Slave Cemetery1.

The Main House is two stories and built in the Italianate architectural style. The Sebrell-McCausland Cemetery includes the Sebrell family, Morris family, Damewood family. The Cooper Cemetery has 12 graves of the Cooper family, with two graves having the name Hudson (probably a relation to the Coopers). The Slave Cemetery has six graves and is thought to be associated with the Sebrell family1.

The farm today is owned by George and Andrew, Samuel’s sons, and Kyle McCausland, a cousin.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Maplewood." http://129.71.204.160/shpo/nr/pdf/mason/00000251.pdf.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Maplewood." Accessed October 1, 2020. http://129.71.204.160/shpo/nr/pdf/mason/00000251.pdf.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Maplewood." Accessed October 1, 2020. http://129.71.204.160/shpo/nr/pdf/mason/00000251.pdf.