The Col. James Graham House

The Graham House

The Graham House

The Graham House (built 1770-1772), Route 3 and 12 in Lowell, Summers County, West Virginia, is one of the oldest and most historic homes in West Virginia. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976. (See the 1975 Registration Form (PDF), at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History website.) With the exception of a modern wing at the rear of the dwelling, the Graham House looks much as it did when it was built more than two hundred thirty years ago.

Colonel James Graham (1741-1813) built his cabin between 1770 and 1772. It served not only as a home for the Graham family, but also as a fortress to protect the settlers from the ever present danger of Indian attack.

In the spring of 1777, Shawnee Indians attacked the Graham House. A slave named Sharp and Colonel Graham’s ten-year-old son were killed. The second child, a seven-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was taken captive. Colonel Graham spent the next eight years searching for this lost daughter. Finally, he rescued her near where Maysville, Kentucky now stands. After trading thirty saddles, beads and trinkets (valued at $300 silver) to the Indians, legend has it that Colonel Graham reversed the shoes on his horses for the journey home, in order to hamper pursuit by the Indians.

The Graham House is unique in that it was not the simple log cabin commonly found in the state, but an impressive three-story structure representing the lifestyles of wealthy gentlemen on the Virginia frontier.

The Graham House Preservation Society works to restore and maintain the house, and invites you to become a part of that effort.