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Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the Graham log house was constructed around 1770 by Colonel James and Florence Graham near the Greenbrier River in Lowell, Summers County. It is a two-story construction, plus attic, of hewn logs, flanked by chimneys on both ends. The rocks for the chimney were hauled from a mile down river.

In 1777, the house was attacked by Shawnee raiders from the Ohio Valley. The attackers tried to force their way through the front door and succeeded in killing one man, a neighbor, who had been sleeping near the door on the first floor of the house. Colonel Graham shot at the Shawnees from portholes in the upper part of the house. The Shawnees then moved to the back of the house and entered the kitchen. They killed a young slave named Sharp and the Grahams’ ten-year-old son, John. They captured seven-year-old daughter Elizabeth and took her as far as present Chillicothe, Ohio. It took eight years for her family to locate and ransom back Elizabeth Graham. By then, she had adapted to the Indian community and culture, was courting a young Shawnee man, and was said to have been reluctant to return to her white family. The exchange occurred at Limestone Creek, now Maysville, Kentucky.

Upon her return, Elizabeth Graham tried a few times to return to the Shawnees. Her younger sister, Jane, went with her on one trip. They crossed the Greenbrier River, and Jane asked Elizabeth what they would eat on their way. Elizabeth is supposed to have answered her by pulling up bulb roots and saying they would live off what they could find as they traveled. Jane convinced her that she would not be able to survive such a trip, and the sisters returned to the Graham home. Elizabeth Graham married Joel Stodghill at the age of 22 and settled in what is now Monroe County. They raised five sons and four daughters. Elizabeth died on March 22, 1858.

The Graham House is owned by the Graham House Preservation Society and is often open to the public.

Read the National Register nomination

This Article was written by Cheryl Kula

Last Revised on December 06, 2017


Cite This Article

Kula, Cheryl "Graham House." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 06 December 2017. Web. 23 September 2018.

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