Aug 262023

Located along the bank of the majestic Ohio River in the foothills of the rugged Appalachian Mountains, Point Pleasant, West Virginia is a charming little community with a lot to offer visitors.

The county seat of Mason County, Point Pleasant has been the scene of violent Indian conflict, an important riverboat stop, and is even the reputed home of a strange creature known as Mothman, whom many believe lurks in the treetops and watches over the community to foretell disaster.

The area around Point Pleasant is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, or cycling. Fans of history will enjoy the Point Pleasant River Museum, which focuses on river life and commercial enterprise on the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. Displays and video demonstrations highlight such topics as great floods, boat construction, sternwheeler steamers, river disasters and the local river industry’s contribution to World War II. The museum also offers a working pilot house and a research library.

A block from the museum, Point Pleasant Battle Monument is a small park that commemorates the frontiersmen who fought and died at the Battle of Point Pleasant. The battle between Virginia militiamen, commanded by Lord Dunmore, and Shawnee and Mingo Indians, led by Chief Cornstalk, took place on October 10, 1774 when a force of militiamen was attacked by the Indians on the bank of the Ohio River. After hours of bloody fighting, the Indians withdrew, leaving behind the dead and dying on both sides. Among the dead was Pucksinwah, the father of the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh. The militiamen lost 75 men and had another 150 wounded. The Shawnee are estimated to have suffered over 30 killed. The Shawnee threw many of the bodies of their dead into the river to prevent them from being mutilated by the vengeful Virginians. Following his defeat at the Battle of Point Pleasant, Cornstalk was forced to agree to the Treaty of Camp Charlotte, ceding all Shawnee lands south of the Ohio River to Virginia.

The American Revolution had begun by the time the Virginia militiamen returned home from their campaign against the Shawnee, and ironically soon found themselves fighting against Lord Dunmore, their former commander. Dunmore urged the same Indians he had defeated at Point Pleasant to take up arms against the revolutionaries. This led many to believe that he had actually orchestrated the attack at Point Pleasant to eliminate the Virginia militia before they could fight the British. Because of this belief, some historians consider the Battle of Point Pleasant to be the first engagement of the Revolutionary War.

Also located at the park is the Mansion House, built as a tavern in 1796, by Walter Newman. It is the oldest hewn log house in the Kanawha Valley and is a museum with displays of antiques and heirlooms of the pioneer era, including a large square piano believed to be one of the first brought over the Alleghenies. The cabin’s bedrooms are furnished with authentic four-poster beds that are more than 150 years old.

Another interesting museum in Point Pleasant is the West Virginia State Farm Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the heritage of farm life. Here you will find exhibits that include log cabins, an early day farmhouse, a blacksmith shop, and early day agricultural equipment.

Perhaps the strangest story to come out of Point Pleasant is that of Mothman, a mythical winged creature that is supposed to flit through the treetops warning people of disaster and terrifying the community. Today there is a Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, and a statue of the mysterious creature on Main Street.

A short drive from town, restored Fort Randolph re-creates the fort that protected settlers here during the Indian Wars. A city-owned campground next to the fort has RV sites and a dump station.

As you can see, for such a small community, Point Pleasant has a lot to offer. Be sure to include it in your travel plans the next time you explore the Ohio River valley!

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Starlight Magic, from her popular Northstar romance series. Can the magic of the stars heal a tormented soul? Single father Brodie Dunn aims to find out by putting his heart on the line. Recently widowed artist Celeste Dawson desperately needs a tranquil place where she can rebuild herself. Two months after her husband’s violent death her career is in jeopardy and she can’t engage in the art that was once her escape from the world. She hopes a trip to Northstar will help her find peace. There’s no place better for healing, especially after she meets her charming new neighbor, ski hill owner Brodie. He suspects Celeste is going to be trouble right from the start, but he can’t ignore the pain in her eyes. On the saddest night of his life, he made a promise under the stars to laugh instead of cry and to help any wounded heart he comes across. He’s sure that philosophy and maybe a little starlight magic will do wonders for Celeste…if his apparent inability to take anything seriously doesn’t drive her mad first. A tale of forgiveness and hope, Starlight Magic will grab you by the heart.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. But, they’re toys!

Thought For The Day I’d take a nerf bullet for you.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “Discover History And Mystery In Point Pleasant”

  1. In December of 1967, the Silver Bridge connecting Point Pleasant to Gallipolis, Ohio, collapsed sending cars and trucks to the bottom of the icy river. My father, who drove truck, knew one of the truckers who rode his rig to the bottom. He managed to get out through a window and made it to the surface. His teammate perished.

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