PARKERSBURG - Bob Tebay and Bob Enoch, members of the Fort Boreman Park advisory board, recommended Wood County commissioners look into leasing property owned by the West Virginia Division of Highways off U.S. 50 for park-related activities.
"We are asking the commission to look into a minimal lease agreement with the DOH for the old Shrine road property that goes up the hill to the trail into the park. It's about 300 feet off Corridor D. It's owned by the DOH and is gated off. About 220 feet up the road is the county's property. The other portion is owned by Marmac," Tebay said. At one time, the local Shrine club owned Fort Boreman Hill and had installed a paved road up to what is now the park area. There was a hall up there where the Shrine sponsored activities including dances.
"The board is thinking the property could be used as a remote mobilization area when there are events, or as a possible camp site for Civil War reenactments. It's about 20 feet from the walking trail that is near the playground," Tebay said. "We would maintain the gate that is there now, and it would only be accessible during special events."
Photo by Pamela Brust
Bob Tebay, left, and Bob Enoch, right, with the Fort Boreman Park advisory committee and Jim Miracle, a Civil War re-enactor, look over a map of the park.
The board representatives noted there have been problems with ATV riders and illegal dumping on the property. John Reed, with the Wood County Solid Waste Authority/county compliance officer, is investigating who is involved with the illegal dumping.
"The additional access would be beneficial for the park in years to come. I don't think it would create a maintenance issue, and there would be no cost to anyone," Enoch said.
"I think our biggest concern when we first heard about this was maintenance; it would need to be brush-hogged," Commissioner Steve Gainer said.
If You Go
* To get to Fort Boreman Historic Park, take the U.S. 50 bypass, turn onto the Marrtown Road exit, take a left across the bypass, then left onto Fort Boreman Park Road.
* The park includes a reconstructed earthen Civil War fort, picnic shelters, playground, trails and informational displays.
* Picnic shelters at the park are available for reservation for special events. Reservations can be made by calling the county administrator's office at 304-424-1976. There is no charge, but donations are accepted for the park fund.
Tebay said the county could propose to lease the property, for a minimal amount.
"It would add about two acres, that would be good to have," Commissioner Wayne Dunn said.
Commission President Blair Couch said the commissioners would make a written proposal to the DOH asking for a lease agreement or a possible transfer of the land. The county would agree to maintain the gate and maintain access.
Tebay said a park fund has been set up at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. The fund contains about $4,155 from donations and memorials and the fund is designated for ongoing maintenance and park improvements.