While state delegates were meeting in Parkersburg to elect a new governor, a confederate general was planning to capture the city. He decided against it, and Parkersburg native Arthur I. Boreman was chosen the first governor of what would soon be the state of West Virginia. It all happened 150 years ago this week.
"In fact, there was a rumor that General (grumble) Jones had 10,000 troops," noted Dave McKain, Director of the Oil and Gas Museum. "So, it brought in troops from all over the country to protect Parkersburg. He only had 1500 troops, but that's a lot of cavalry. They got to Cairo and said, 'we don't think we're going to try to take Parkersburg'. So, he went south and burned Burning Springs."
It's the reason for a new exhibit, introduced Monday to members of the Parkersburg Rotary Club. It includes original pre-photography lithographs from the Civil War, as well as letters and proclamations signed by General Robert E. Lee and President Abraham Lincoln. and McKain says they have a future beyond the Oil and Gas Museum.
"We'll keep them here until the end of (the anniversary of) the Civil War, then we'll pack them up. We're eventually going to build a museum at Henderson Hall, and a lot of things from Henderson Hall will go to that museum."
West Virginia's first state capital was Wheeling. but McKain wants everyone to know a major portion of its formation took place in our area.
The lithographs were found at Henderson hall and were, for years, collected by its late owner, Michael Ralston.