Point Pleasant, West Virginia

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Point Pleasant, West Virginia
City
Point Pleasant (foreground) at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. Gallipolis, Ohio is in the background right.
Point Pleasant (foreground) at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. Gallipolis, Ohio is in the background right.
Location of Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Location of Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Coordinates: 38°51′27″N 82°7′43″W / 38.85750°N 82.12861°W / 38.85750; -82.12861Coordinates: 38°51′27″N 82°7′43″W / 38.85750°N 82.12861°W / 38.85750; -82.12861
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Mason
Area[1]
 • Total 3.10 sq mi (8.03 km2)
 • Land 2.40 sq mi (6.22 km2)
 • Water 0.70 sq mi (1.81 km2)
Elevation 568 ft (173 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 4,350
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 4,310
 • Density 1,812.5/sq mi (699.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 25550
Area code(s) 304
FIPS code 54-64708[4]
GNIS feature ID 1555381[5]
Website www.ptpleasantwv.org
Tourists at the monument of the Battle of Point Pleasant in Tu-Endie-Wei State Park.
A replica of Fort Randolph, a fort from the American Revolutionary War. The town of Point Pleasant was built on the site of the original fort, and so the rebuilt fort was located nearby.

Point Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Mason County, West Virginia, United States,[6] at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. The population was 4,350 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Point Pleasant, WV-OH Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.10 square miles (8.03 km2), of which, 2.40 square miles (6.22 km2) is land and 0.70 square miles (1.81 km2) is water.[1]

Point Pleasant is located at 38°51′27″N 82°7′43″W / 38.85750°N 82.12861°W / 38.85750; -82.12861 (38.857527, -82.128571).[7]

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 4,350 people, 2,014 households, and 1,162 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,812.5 inhabitants per square mile (699.8 /km2). There were 2,244 housing units at an average density of 935.0 per square mile (361.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.9% White, 1.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

There were 2,014 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.9% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.3% were non-families. 38.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.82.

The median age in the city was 44 years. 21.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.6% were from 25 to 44; 27.4% were from 45 to 64; and 21.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 44.9% male and 55.1% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 4,637 people, 2,107 households, and 1,310 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,945.6 people per square mile (752.3/km²). There were 2,313 housing units at an average density of 970.5 per square mile (375.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.57% White, 1.90% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.09% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.54% of the population.

There were 2,107 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 83.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,022, and the median income for a family was $33,527. Males had a median income of $31,657 versus $16,607 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,692. About 22.2% of families and 24.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.9% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

The Céloron Expedition (1749)[edit]

In 1749 French explorer Pierre Joseph Céloron de Blainville asserts sovereignty of France over the Ohio valley by burying a lead plaque called « of Point Pleasant ».

In the second half of 1749 the French explorer Pierre Joseph Céloron de Blainville claimed French sovereignty over the Ohio Valley, burying a lead plaque at the meeting point of the Rivers Ohio and Kanawha, naming the place Point Pleasant.

The text on the plaque is as follows:

L'AN 1749 DV REGNE DE LOVIS XV ROY DE FRANCE, NOVS CELORON, COMMANDANT D'VN DETACHEMENT ENVOIE PAR MONSIEVR LE MIS. DE LA GALISSONIERE, COMMANDANT GENERAL DE LA NOUVELLE FRANCE POVR RETABLIR LA TRAN QUILLITE DANS QUELQUES VILLAGES SAUVAGES DE CES CANTONS, AVONS ENTERRE CETTE PLAQUE AU CONFLUENT DE L'OHIO ET DE TCHADAKOIN CE 29 JVILLET, PRES DE LA RIVIERE OYO AUTREMENT BELLE RIVIERE, POUR MONUMENT DU RENOUVELLEMENT DE POSSESSION QUE NOUS AVONS PRIS DE LA DITTE RIVIERE OYO, ET DE TOUTES CELLE~ QUI Y TOMBENT, ET DE TOUTES LES TERRES DES DEUX COTES JVSQVE AVX SOURCES DES DITTES RIVIERES AINSI QV'EN ONT JOVY OU DV JOVIR LES PRECEDENTS ROIS DE FRANCE, ET QU'ILS S'Y SONT MAINTENVS PAR LES ARMES ET PAR LES TRAIT TES, SPECIALEMENT PAR CEVX DE RISWICK D'VTRECHT ET D'AIX LA CHAPELLE.[8]
(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] 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)

Céloron's expedition was a diplomatic failure since the local tribes remained pro-English, and English representatives in the region refused to go away. This was, therefore, a prelude to a series of incidents that would lead to the loss of New France and the domination of eastern North America by the British Empire following the defeat of France in the French and Indian War (1754-1763).

The expedition can nevertheless be seen in more positive terms as a geographical project, since the Céloron expedition was the starting point for the first map of the Ohio Valley. The map was the work of the Jesuit Joseph Pierre de Bonnecamps.

The Battle of Point Pleasant (1774)[edit]

In the Battle of Point Pleasant (October 10, 1774), fought on the future site of the town, over one thousand Virginia militiamen, led by Colonel Andrew Lewis (1720–1781), defeated a roughly equal force of an Algonquin confederation of Shawnee and Mingo warriors led by Shawnee Chief Cornstalk (ca. 1720-1777). The event is celebrated locally as the "First Battle of the American Revolutionary War" and in 1908 the U.S. Senate authorized erection of a local monument to commemorate it as such. Most historians, however, regard it not as a battle of the Revolution (1775–1783), but as a part of Lord Dunmore's War (1774).

Settlement[edit]

"Camp Point Pleasant" was established by Col. Lewis at the time of the Battle and the settlement that followed also took that name. Although not certain, Point Pleasant may have been permanently settled by whites as early as 1774. A permanent stockade known as Fort Blair was erected there at about that time. Prior to that, hostilities between whites and Indians all along the Ohio River Valley probably precluded the possibility of settlement in the absence of a substantial stockade.[9] In 1776, a new fort was built on the site of the earlier fort and named for the recently deceased Virginia official Peyton Randolph (1721–1775). Fort Randolph is best remembered as the place where Chief Cornstalk was murdered in 1777. It withstood attack by Indians the following year, but was abandoned in 1779. It was rebuilt nearby in 1785 after the renewal of hostilities between the United States government and the Indians, but saw little action and was eventually abandoned once again.[10] The settlement at Point Pleasant did not receive an official charter until 1794.

19th century[edit]

Point Pleasant was incorporated in 1833.

20th century[edit]

Point Pleasant was widely noted for the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge, which killed 46 people.

On 10 October 1974, Point Pleasant celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Point Pleasant. A replica of Fort Randolph was built in 1973-74 and dedicated as part of the festivities. The town of Point Pleasant was situated over the site of the fort and so the replica is located at Krodel Park, about one mile away.[11]

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

The Eastham House, Lewis-Capehart-Roseberry House, and Point Pleasant Battleground are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The central business district and surrounding residential areas are included in the Point Pleasant Historic District.[12]

Notable natives and residents[edit]

  • Point Pleasant was the final home of Confederate Brigadier-General John McCausland, the next-to-last Confederate General to die. He died at his farm at Grimm's Landing on January 23, 1927, and is buried in nearby Henderson.

Folklore[edit]

The Mothman[edit]

Paranormal enthusiasts flock to Point Pleasant in search of Mothman, a creature said to be a harbinger of imminent disaster that inhabits an abandoned TNT factory from World War II. John Keel published a book in 1975 entitled The Mothman Prophecies, and a film inspired by the novel was released in January 2002. Later, another film, loosely based on the legend, was also released. The town is host to a Mothman Museum, and every year it holds a Mothman Festival that features tours, pageants, balls, films, music, and other events to celebrate what they consider "one of Point Pleasant’s largest tourist attractions."[13]

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Point Pleasant has a Humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[14]

Climate data for Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
(45)
8
(46)
14
(58)
21
(69)
26
(78)
30
(86)
32
(89)
31
(88)
28
(83)
22
(71)
14
(57)
8
(46)
20.1
(68)
Average low °C (°F) −4
(25)
−4
(25)
1
(33)
6
(42)
11
(51)
16
(60)
18
(64)
17
(63)
13
(56)
7
(44)
1
(34)
−3
(27)
6.6
(43.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 94
(3.7)
81
(3.2)
104
(4.1)
89
(3.5)
100
(4)
109
(4.3)
114
(4.5)
91
(3.6)
64
(2.5)
64
(2.5)
80
(3)
86
(3.4)
1,076
(42.3)
Source: Weatherbase [15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ The Céloron Plate, one of only two to be recovered among the six placed by Céloron along the Ohio River during the expedition, is in the collections of the Virginia Historical Society. It was recovered in 1849 after washing out from the river bank; a monument marks the spot today.
  9. ^ Atkinson, George W. (1876), History of Kanawha County, From its Organization in 1789 until the Present Time, Office of the West Virginia Journal, Charleston, West Virginia.
  10. ^ Two centuries later, a replica of the fort was built nearby.
  11. ^ Fort Randolph restoration, from Fort Randolph website
  12. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  13. ^ Sergent, Beth. "Mothman Festival to land Sept. 21-22". Daily Register. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  14. ^ Climate Summary for Point Pleasant, West Virginia
  15. ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on September 13, 2013.

External links[edit]