The area was first claimed in 1749 by the French explorer Pierre Joseph Celeron de Blainville, who set a plaque on the riverbank declaring all the territory in the region for the King of France:
"In the year 1749, in the reign of King Louis XV, we, Celeron, commander of a detachment sent by Commander de La Galissonière, Commander General of New France, for the restoration of peace in various untamed villages in the region, have buried this plaque at the confluence of the Ohio and Tchadakoin [Rivers] (Kanawha River) this 29th day of July near the fine river bank, to commemorate the retaking into possession of the afore-mentioned river bank and all the surrounding lands on both river shores back to the river sources, as secured by previous kings of France, and maintained by force of arms and by treaties, specifically the Treaties of Rijswick, of Utrecht and of Aix la Chapelle."
A grand and sweeping statement, is it not? But the French lost their claim when the British defeated the French in the French and Indian War. In 1770 George Washington explored the Ohio Valley for the British, and noted the abundance of game and the wide, fertile bottomland in his reports. He later received over 10,000 acres in the region for his war-time service.
|One section of the mural wall|
Local legend claims that before his death, Cornstalk laid this curse on the area:
“I was the border man’s friend. Many times I have saved him and his people from harm. I never warred with you, but only to protect our wigwams and lands. I refused to join your paleface enemies with the red coats. I came to the fort as your friend and you murdered me. You have murdered by my side, my young son. For this, may the curse of the Great Spirit rest upon this land. May it be blighted by nature. May it even be blighted by its hopes. May the strength of its peoples be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.”
Historians question the veracity of this story, doubting that Cornstalk ever said these words, and I have to say it does seem unlikely. However it is true that Point Pleasant has seen its share of disasters over the years, from raging Ohio River floods, to fires, the terrible collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967,
Mothman". Click the link to read more about paranormal activity in the area, and click here to read my other blog posts on this topic.
Stories of hauntings abound in this town; many people report seeing and hearing strange things at the historic Lowe Hotel, and the places where Mothman was sighted attract many visitors. Others believe that the spirit of Cornstalk also haunts the area because of the repeated disturbance of his remains.
Another intriguing story says that Samuel B. Clemens, grandfather of Samuel L. Clemens (better known as Mark Twain) was a settler in Point Pleasant, and was killed in 1805 when a log fell from a cabin he was helping to build. I have not been able to verify this, and have found another claim that repeats the story of the falling log but says the elder Clemens was killed in Madison, Boone County, WV.
|on the banks of the Ohio at Point Pleasant, WV|
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.