Parkersburg, West Virginia

Parkersburg is located in the north-western part in the state of West Virginia.

West Virginia USA Location

Parkersburg has a rich heritage from the early oil and gas industry. The city is the birth of the oil and gas industry. The city has many unique shops, museums, events and outdoor recreation.

About Parkersburg

Parkersburg has a rich heritage from the early oil and gas industry. The city is the birth of the oil and gas industry. At Parkersburg the Ohio river meets the Little Kanawha River,. It was an important commercial water route. The city has many, unique shops, museums, events, and outdoor recreation.

To See And To Do In Parkersburg

Julia-Ann Square

Blennerhassett Island

Parkersburg Art Center

Oil and Gas Museum

Smoot Theatre



North Bend State Park

Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours

History Of Parkersburg

In 1773, Robert Thornton claimed land of what is todays Parkersburg. In 1783, Alexander Parker purchased the land from Robert Thornton for $50. About the same time, John Stokley had started his own settlement in the area, called Stokleyville. In 1797, Harman Blennerhassett from County Hampshire, England, bougth an island (Blennerhassett Island) in the Ohio River, at todays Parkersburg, where he built his mansion. At the time the area was known as Newport and Stokeleyville. The house was famous at the time for beeing the largest and most beautiful private residence in the American West. In 1799, the first Methodist services was established in the village.

In 1800, John Stokley laid out a new town he called Newport. In 1805, Henry Cooper built a two-story log house. In 1806, the vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr, used the Blennerhassett house as the headquarter for his military expedition to the Southwest. In 1810, Alexander Parker's daughter Mary won a countersuit against John Stokley and gained possession of the land. Newport/Stokeleyville change the name to Parkersburg in honor of Alexander Parker and Parkersburg was incorporated.

In 1826, a road from Staunton, Virginia to Parkersburg was initially authorized. In 1829, Tillinghast A. Cook settled in the town and built the Tillinghast Cook house. Today the house is the headquarters of the Junior League of Parkersburg. In 1833, the newspaper, the Parkersburg Republican, was founded. In 1836, the Peter Van Winkle house was built. He was a United States Senator. In 1840, George Neale, Jr. built the Neale-Tebay house. Thirteen years earlier (in 1827) he had purchased the upper end of Blennerhassett Island. In 1841, the Staunton-Parkersburg road was completed. In 1843, several English families moved into the town and in 1850, there were more than 1,200 people living in the town.

In 1857, the railroad reached the town. In 1860, the world’s largest oil fields was found just north and east of the town. In 1861, Union troops occupied the town. In 1862, first public school for blacks started in the town. In 1863, Parkersburg was incorporated as a city. In 1867, the Parkersburg High School was established. In 1869, the St. Francis Xavier Church was built. In 1870, the Ohio River Railroad Bridge was completed and it was the longest railroad bridge in the world. In 1879, an oil pipeline was completed. It was the first oil pipeline in West Virginia. It was running from Volcano to Parkersburg. In 1882, the city had telephones. In 1887, the first fire warden was appointed. In 1892, the Logan Memorial United Methodist Church was constructed. In 1895, the police force had light horse-drawn patrol wagons. In 1889, the Blennerhassett Hotel was built. In 1899, the Wood County Courthouse was built.

In 1900, there were more than 11,700 people living in the city. In 1913, thousands of people became homeless after flooding by the Ohio River. In 1961, the West Virginia University at Parkersburg was established. In 1970, there were over 44,000 people living in the city. In 1984, the NBA-player, Deron Williams was born in the city.

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