Parkersburg, West Virginia has a rich history, and there have been several significant events that have taken place in and around the area. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Parkersburg, WV.
1. The Battle of Parkersburg: During the Civil War, Parkersburg was a strategic location because it was located on the Ohio River and was a major transportation hub. In 1863, Confederate forces under General John Hunt Morgan attempted to capture Parkersburg, but they were repulsed by Union forces under General William Wallace. This was known as the Battle of Parkersburg.
2. The Oil Boom of the late 1800s: In the late 1800s, Parkersburg experienced an oil boom, which brought wealth to the area. The city became a center for oil refining and transportation. It was during this time that the DuPont Company established a chemical plant in the area, which would become one of the largest employers in the region.
3. The Parkersburg Ghost: In 1897, a mysterious ghost appeared in Parkersburg. The ghost was said to have the ability to disappear and reappear at will and was blamed for several unexplained events in the city. The ghost was eventually revealed to be a hoax, perpetrated by two men who wanted to capitalize on the public's fascination with the supernatural.
4. The Statehood of West Virginia: On June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state in the Union. The state was formed during the Civil War when a group of counties in northwestern Virginia refused to secede from the Union and instead formed their own state. Parkersburg served as the first state capital of West Virginia.
5. The Blennerhassett Island Conspiracy: In the early 1800s, Harman Blennerhassett, an Irish immigrant, built a luxurious estate on an island in the Ohio River near Parkersburg. He was joined by Aaron Burr, the former Vice President of the United States, who was planning a military expedition to take over Mexico. The plan was discovered, and Blennerhassett and Burr were charged with treason.
6. The Flood of 1913: In March of 1913, a severe flood hit Parkersburg and the surrounding area. The flood destroyed many homes and businesses, and several people were killed. The flood was caused by heavy rains and the failure of several dams upstream.
7. The Silver Bridge Collapse: On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge, which connected Parkersburg and Gallipolis, Ohio, collapsed, killing 46 people. The cause of the collapse was determined to be a faulty eyebar suspension chain, which had been weakened by corrosion. The disaster led to increased safety regulations for bridges in the United States.
In conclusion, Parkersburg, WV has a rich history, and these are just seven of the many significant events that have taken place in and around the area. From battles to oil booms to hoaxes and disasters, the history of Parkersburg is as diverse as it is interesting.
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