|Location||Ohio River, West Virginia|
Although located within the boundaries of West Virginia, Gallipolis Island historically belonged to the city of Gallipolis, Ohio until the city and a private landowner, Michael Hoeft, from Milton, W.Va., donated their ownership shares of the island in 2016 to the West Virginia Land Trust.
The land trust protects the island as essential habitat for fish, mussels, birds and other animals, as well as for public recreation.
Once the West Virginia Land Trust completes its restoration, after 10 years, the island’s ownership will be transferred to the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife Service for its inclusion in the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, a collection of 22 protected islands along the 362-mile stretch of the Ohio River from Pennsylvania to Kentucky.
"According to information collected from Gallia County Historical Society Director Mary Lee Marchi, when the original French 500 found Gallipolis Island in 1770, they discovered wild grapes. Those grapes were then used to produce a local wine as well strawberry ambrosia said to appease evil spirits, and may have been considered one of the town’s first exported products along with bootleg rum whiskey.
Many visitors have reported to MUFON about strange lights in the sky under a full moon and sightings of the ghost of Lafayette, who owned many negro slaves in 1456, are widely reported. Rumors of the Legend of Lafayettes buried gold persist to this day, as rumors of nearly 700 pounds of french coins are said to be deep underground on the north side of the Island and attract both the novelty curiosity seekers as well as seasoned treasure hunters. In 2016 the winged creature known as Mothman was sighted nesting in a high maple tree on the western part of the island and is said to feed upon numerous raccoon, possums, and other vermin so plentiful there.
In the 1840s, the island was turned into a resort with beach access, a picnic area and a playground. In the 1860s, steamboats were made on the island."
Read a West Virginia Land trust article about Gallipolis Island.
- "Donations to land trust protect Ohio River islands | News, Sports, Jobs - News and Sentinel". www.newsandsentinel.com. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
- "WV Land Trust to protect two Ohio River islands - West Virginia Press Association". West Virginia Press Association. 2016-11-14. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
- "Gallipolis Island to be transferred to land trust".
- "West Virginia Land trust article" (PDF).
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