Point Pleasant, WV

Confluence of the Ohio & Kanawha Rivers. - Point Pleasant, WV
Confluence of the Ohio & Kanawha Rivers. – Point Pleasant, WV

History

Settled in the mid 1770’s, “Point Pleasant” was established by Virginia Militia Colonel Andrew Lewis (Oct. 9. 1720 – Sept. 26, 1782) taking the name from the camp and battle that took place in the area.  It was also that time that a permanent stockade, Fort Blair, was built – giving the settlement a foothold against hostile natives in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  In 1776, Fort Blair was replaced by Fort Randolph where it withstood some native attacks – but was eventually abandoned in 1779.  Fort Randolph was re-established six years later with renewed hostilities between the United States and the native tribes.  Point Pleasant was eventually chartered by the United States government in 1794, and incorporated in 1833.

In the modern era, Point Pleasant is known for its tragic past with the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967.  Due to a defect failure of a single eyebar suspension chain, poor maintenance, and unusually heavy loads, the bridge collapsed resulting in the deaths of 46 people. The bridge was replaced by the Silver Memorial Bridge in 1969.


Folklore & The Mothman

201502_mothmanPoint Pleasant remains a gathering point for paranormal enthusiasts and cryptozoologists in search of The Mothman.  A local cryptid who has inspired multiple legends, books and feature films.  First reported in the local paper in the article “Couples See Man-Sized Bird…Creature…Something” (Point Pleasant Register – Nov. 16, 1966), the legendary beast gained wider exposure in the 1970s by paranormal writer Gray Barker and author John Keel with his 1975 novel The Mothman Prophecies.

The local town embraces the myths of the creature with the Annual Mothman Festival held on the third weekend in September.  This festival hosts events including: speakers, tours, exhibits and hayride tours of areas where the Mothman was sighted.  In addition, the Mothman Museum and Research Center was opened in 2005 and is curated by Point Pleasant native and local expert Jeff Wamsley.