Wood County, located in the northwestern corner of West Virginia, has a rich and fascinating history. From its early settlement to its more recent developments, there are many interesting facts about this area. Here are seven of the most intriguing:
1. Fort Boreman: During the Civil War, Wood County was on the border between Union and Confederate forces. In order to protect the Union army's position, a fort was built on a hill overlooking the town of Parkersburg. Fort Boreman was named after Governor Arthur Boreman, who was the first governor of West Virginia. Today, the fort still stands and is a popular site for visitors.
2. Oil and Gas Boom: In the late 1800s, the oil and gas industry boomed in Wood County. It was during this time that the first commercial oil well in the world was drilled at Burning Springs. The industry brought wealth and prosperity to the area, and many oil tycoons built large mansions in Parkersburg.
3. Blennerhassett Island: This island in the Ohio River is named after Harman Blennerhassett, an Irish aristocrat who settled there in the early 1800s. He built an elaborate mansion on the island, which became a gathering place for prominent politicians and other figures of the time. However, Blennerhassett's association with Aaron Burr and his alleged involvement in a plot to separate the western states from the United States ultimately led to his downfall.
4. Loomis Pottery: Wood County was home to the Loomis Pottery Company, which produced high-quality ceramics from 1884 to 1905. The pottery pieces were known for their intricate designs and bright colors, and many are highly sought after by collectors today.
5. Julia-Ann Square: This neighborhood in Parkersburg was developed in the late 1800s and features many Victorian-era homes. The homes in Julia-Ann Square are known for their unique architectural features, such as turrets and stained glass windows. Today, the neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
6. West Virginia University at Parkersburg: This college was established in 1961 and has been an important part of the community since then. It offers a range of degree programs and has a diverse student body. The campus is also home to the Caperton Center for Applied Technology, which provides vocational training for students.
7. The Little Kanawha River: This river flows through Wood County and is known for its scenic beauty. It offers opportunities for boating and fishing, and is a popular spot for outdoor recreation. At one time, the Little Kanawha River was an important transportation route for the area, and many steamboats traveled on its waters.
These are just a few of the many interesting facts about Wood County, West Virginia. Whether you are a history buff or just curious about the area, there is no shortage of things to learn about this fascinating part of the country.
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