To the cryptozoologist, it’s the home of Mothman, but to this history buff, it’s a diamond in the rough. Seated on the edges of Kanawha and Ohio River, Point Pleasant, West Virginia is rich in history. Beginning its historical fame in 1749, French commander Pierre Joseph Céloron de Blainville dedicated this part of land to King Louis XV in order to gain peace with the surrounding Natives. Between 1763-1775 the English settlers had been encroaching on Native American land. Well, the Natives certainly had enough of that! In response, Chief Cornstalk brought together a band of Shawnee and Mingo tribes to rage battle against Colonel Andrew Lewis. Chief Cornstalk was defeated in 1774, and later murdered at Fort Randolph in 1777. Around the same time in 1770, George Washington visited in order to supply land grants to military serviceman who fought during the French and Indian War. Legend states that while Washington was there, he expressed that this was a very pleasant point. Hence the town was then named Point Pleasant. (though historically, it was the French commander Pierre Joseph Céloron de Blainville who originally gave it its name) Maybe Washington was just stating his agreement. In more recent history, Point Pleasant is known for the Silver Bridge collapse of 1967.
The places to explore are endless! One can visit the replica of Fort Randolph or take a stroll around the flood wall where a beautiful mural was painted to remember the battle between Chief Cornstalk and Colonel Lewis. Visit even the Old Mansion House which was built upon the battle ground. But most of all, do not miss the Point Pleasant River Museum! If you’re lucky, you may even get a first hand account on the Silver Bridge collapse.
One can’t have a town without people. What can I say? After visiting for three consecutive summer, I’ve come to find that they’re crazy (crazy awesome!)… but oh so loving! When there, you become almost as one of the family. The people take great pride in their history and love to recount it to anyone willing to listen.
From first sight, Point Pleasant may look like any other hick mountain town. But the more you explore, the more it becomes that small hometown you always wished to grow up in. Maybe one day I’ll move there. Who knows. But for right now I’ll have to be content with reminiscing.