Mrs. Crosby Adams (nee Juliet Graves) was well known as a musician, composer, music teacher, author, lecturer, and music critic in Chicago. She wrote musical compositions for young people and was well known for this throughout the country. She was also an avid doll collector and composed many songs about dolls as well as nature. Mrs. Adams was born in 1858, in Niagara, N. Y. and was raised on a farm near the great river, where she developed her love of nature and to what she attributed "the development of her musical sensibilities".
She was very inspired by the music of Edward MacDowell who had established an art colony (where he composed his famous music, reflecting his love of nature) at Peterborough, New Hampshire. Mrs. Adams was a champion of his music and wrote a book about it.
Mr. And Mrs. Adams lived in Oak Park, Illinois (at 333 Linden) from 1893 to 1913, and during that time established the MacDowell Club, which still exists today as MacDowell Artists. Mr. Adams, also born in 1858, was a musician as well, being a composer and accomplished choral director.
In 1913, the Adams' decided to move to the wild Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and build a cottage with plans supplied by Van Bergen, who they knew in Oak Park. Their home in Montreat, modeled after MacDowell's own retreat, became a gathering place for musicians and music teachers from all over the country, as a musical and nature retreat. Mr. Adams supervised and did much of the construction of the home himself. The house had a spacious music room that could accommodate a chorus and music recitals.
Mrs. Adams died in 1951 and the house sometime later became the "Crosby Adams Memorial". It is now privatly owned.
The Adams collection of music and other documents have become part of the core of Montreat University's Music Department.