Take me home …

Downtown Parkersburg
Parkersburg, W.V., sits at the confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers. Note the wall protecting the town from floodwaters. (Photo by Matthew Ginn © 2014)

This summer, Perrie and I have been rather preoccupied taking care of Daphne. But we couldn’t let the summer slip away entirely without a bit of a getaway, and having lived in Ohio for more than a year now, we figured it was time we got to see some of the places around here. So we hopped in the car last Monday for a short trip to Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Parkersburg is a city of about 31,000 at the confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers, the largest city in a region of about 165,000 people. It is notable as the point where the B&O Railroad’s main line from Baltimore to St. Louis crosses the Ohio River. That bridge was the longest railroad bridge in the world when it was completed in 1870 (7,140 feet, or 2,180 m).

After checking in at our hotel, we went to check out Fort Boreman. The fort was built in 1863 to defend the B&O R.R. from Confederate attacks. Today it offers picnic grounds, educational placards and a scenic overlook of the city and rivers. We looked around, tried to find a couple of geocaches, and took a few pictures before heading off to dinner.

Admittedly, we did not spend a lot of time in Parkersburg, nor did we necessarily explore the best parts of the city. I’m sure it’s a fine place, but we didn’t find it particularly inviting to walk around. It appears that the city has been carved up by high-volume roadways, pockmarked by surface parking lots, and generally suffering from depopulation (the city is down about 30% from its peak in the 1960s).