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Historic Henderson Hall

History & Heritage

History comes alive in Greater Parkersburg!

Download a complete copy of our updated Historic Guide to Wood County (PDF).

Learn about plans by Aaron Burr and Harman Blennerhassett in 1806 to undertake a military expedition to the Southwest that many, including President Thomas Jefferson, considered treasonous. 

Discover the birth of the nation’s oil and gas industry and the world’s oldest producing oil well.  Uncover the story behind the tumultuous creation of the State of West Virginia.  

Encounter the drama of the Civil War with the Union General George McClellan’s first invasion into the Confederacy through Parkersburg. 

Experience this intriguing past in one of West Virginia’s most historic cities. The Greater Parkersburg area has a colorful and fascinating heritage that has been magnificently preserved and presented by our museums and historic sites.

Take a ride on an authentic sternwheeler down the majestic Ohio River to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park and explore the beautifully recreated and meticulously furnished Blennerhassett Mansion.  Visit the nationally recognized Oil and Gas Museum and learn about the events and people who engineered the birth of an industry and the creation of West Virginia while ensnared in the drama of the Civil War. 

Remember those who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq/Afghanistan by visiting the Veterans Museum.

A visit to the Greater Parkersburg area is not complete without a stroll through the Julia-Ann Square Historic District. Beautifully restored and preserved 19th Century homes were once the sanctuary for West Virginia’s leading politicians and prominent oil and gas barons who made their fortunes in the backwoods of the area.  Walking tours, tea parties and garden/home tours take place annually.

Explore Henderson Hall.  Built in 1859 as the centerpiece of the 2600 acre Henderson plantation, this impressive 17-room pre Civil War mansion has survived with all of its original furnishings.  Discover the Henderson’s role in spoiling the Burr-Blennerhassett conspiracy.  

Take in the magnificent panoramic views overlooking the beautiful Ohio Valley and learn about Parkersburg’s strategic role in the Civil War from atop the new Fort Boreman Civil War Park.

Also visit the new park at Burning Springs on one of the nation’s oldest oil fields and see the oldest producing oil well in the world.  During the Civil War this early oil field was destroyed by fire set by the famous General Jones’ rebel raiding party.

All this and more awaits you in Greater Parkersburg, West Virginia.

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Transportation

Transportation

Transportation to and through Wood County played a significant role in the development of the state of West Virginia and the nation.

Landmarks & Sites

Landmarks & Sites

While not every historic structure and site is included, the following list reflects many of the county’s most prominent sites and buildings and gives a glimpse into its glorious past as it impacted the region and state economically, politically and socially.