Parkersburg is located just inside the West Virginia border with a population of 31,492 people, making it the third largest city in West Virginia. Parkersburg is the county seat of Wood County.
History of Parkersburg, WV
Parkersburg was originally named Newport in the late 18th century. Many of the first settlers migrated from parts of Virgina. The town section was laid out after Alexander Parker was granted land for his Revolutionary War service. The town was renamed to Parkersburg in 1810 and chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1820. Finally it was rechartered as a city in 1860.
Parkersburg is the final point of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike and the Northwestern Turnpike. Traffic and trade grew within the city after the completion of the B&O railroad bridge, or as it is known today, the Parkersburg Bridge. Parkersburg was also a medical and transportation hub for Union forces during the American Civil War.
In the 19th century, Parkersburg became a large oil refining center. The Camden Consolidated Oil Company was founded in 1866 by Johnson Newlon Camden, who would later become a U.S. Senator. Following World War II, Parkersburg became a leading industrial center in the Ohio Valley. Today, Parkersburg offers many attractions, restaurants, and history for residents and visitors.
Things to Do in Parkersburg, WV
Parkersburg offers many things to do, whether you are interested in indoor or outdoor activities. Parkersburg also offers a variety of annual and cultural events to attend. The Annual Mid-Ohio Valley Multicultural Festival, Parkersburg Homecoming Festival, Taste of Parkersburg, and the Downtown Throwdown are held each year.
If you are interested in learning more about Parkersburg history, you can check out one of the many museums in the area. Some of the most notable are the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History, Henry Cooper House, Oil and Gas Museum, Sumnerite Africn- American History Museum, the Artcraft Studio, and the Veterans Museum of Mid-Ohio Valley.
If checking out these museums and festivals make you hungry, visit one of the great local restaurants. If you are looking for a fresh snack or meal, be sure to stop by Cham’s for the delicious pita bread and hummus. If you are looking for a great local hangout, stop by Rubi’s Pizza and Grill or Der Dog Haus. Locals keep coming back for the pizza, burgers and community.
Parkersburg offers a variety of places to shop and browse. Check out the Mulberry Lane Country Store for the perfect gift or keepsake.