Historic Treasures

One of the oldest residences in our area – and a historically important one, at that – is in need of some community support. Wood County Historical and Preservation Society members have their sights set on the Phelps-Tavenner house, on Camden Avenue in Parkersburg, but it will take a larger effort to bring the group’s vision to life.

Currently owned by the heirs of it most recent inhabitants, the house is on the National Register of Historic Places, having been built by Col. Hugh Phelps, around 1810.

Phelps was “like the glue that held the new settlement together,” according to WCHPS President Bob Enoch. The home “needs to be saved and I really believe the people in this community are tired of seeing our historic landmarks lost and they will support us in this project.”

Surely Enoch is correct. The folks of Wood County will not sit by and let pass an opportunity to revive and bring new significance to a historical structure. With several ways to help – from a Rifle Raffle to a movie night – there is no shortage of chances to give a little toward preserving and repurposing the Phelps-Tavenner house.

But let us not stop there. This wonderful structure is one of several in need of help. Perhaps the effort to raise funds for one building will inspire others to restore, preserve and protect their own historic treasures.

“We need to preserve this very important piece of history,” Enoch said, of the Phelps-Tavenner house. The same is true of many other homes and buildings in our incredibly history-rich region. Property owners throughout the area should take note of the effort and desire shown for saving just one structure, in judging the importance of saving their own.