Tacky banners vs. beautiful murals

Parkersburg has a wonderful history and beautiful historical landmarks, from the Blennerhassett Mansion being the largest icon and tourist attraction to the Blennerhassett Hotel restored back to its grandeur. Fort Boreman Hill, is open to the public to enjoy the history and beautiful views of the city. And, it was said Terrapin Park could have been bigger than Disney World.

The flood of 1913 was documented with pictures depicting what it was like to endure such devastation. Having rivers on both sides caused damage every time their banks would overflow for years. The Point, where the Little Kanawha River meets the Ohio River seemed to be the lowest point in elevation where most of the flooding occurred. The great Flood Wall was erected and completed in 1950 to protect the city.

Since then the city’s government has made the area on the other side of the wall a beautiful place to go and enjoy the rivers. Several thousands of dollars were spent to build up the area that includes walkways and most recently 4 large swings to sit and relax watching the boats and beautiful sunsets. An area that hosts live concerts and a docking area for the sternwheeler ferry boat to take visitors to Blennerhassett Island — the surroundings at The Point are a good start for another place to be in our history for all to enjoy.

My point: My husband and I like to take walks along the point and enjoy the beautiful views as do many other people. When we were there the other evening I was appalled and angry that the city would allow local businesses to trash up the flood wall with their banners of advertisement. There are several banners, including, of all things, a gambling joint, adorning the walls that stick out like a sore thumb. To me it’s tacky and trashy, we have this beautiful historical area and now they want to trash it up with cheap advertisement. Between the trash and tacky banners, I wonder if our tax dollars are still being put to good use.

If there must be anything on those walls I would like to see paintings of our area’s history, like murals of the Blennerhassett Mansion or Terrapin Park. Covington, Ky., has a flood wall like ours and there are beautiful full-wall murals depicting historical land marks of their town. There are always people stopping and taking pictures of such a beautiful site. This could be a large attraction to our area that could be admired by many and by word of mouth, attract more people and businesses to our area. With all the historical landmarks being torn down, we need something that at least outsiders will notice and admire. If nothing else it would be something that our citizens would enjoy and be proud of instead of cheap advertisement sticking out like a sore thumb.

Dora Shearer

Washington, W.Va.

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