Look Back: News of the 1840s

To The Public

The Subscriber, thankful for the patronage heretofore extended to him, respectfully informs the citizens of Parkersburg and the surrounding country, that he continues to carry on the Carpenters and Joiner’s business at his shop at the corner of Neal [Second] and Juliana streets, where he is prepared to finish any work in his line with neatness and dispatch, and on moderate terms. He keeps constantly on hand a supply of superior Safes and Bee Palaces, which he can recommend to families, for their convenience.

P.S. Having supplied himself with a Hearse, and materials for Coffins, he is prepared to fill all orders he may be favored with, and attend funerals on the shortest notice, at reduced prices, and without any extra charge for the use of the Hearse.

[signed] JOB FORSYTH.

The [Parkersburg] Gazette

Feb. 26, 1846


The Weather Again

Never were the deleterious affects of flattery more fully exemplified than by the “clerk of the weather” within the week just passed. In our last [newspaper], we took occasion to compliment his “Inconstancy” as he deserved, we thought, for the very agreeable weather meted out to us during the winter, thus far. But, being naturally vain and weak-headed, praise addled him, and the scamp has ever since visited us with such weather as would do no credit to Siberia. Jack Frost has reveled in all his glory, and the thick masses of ice, coursing the Ohio, plainly indicates the extent of his dominion. Navigation is still open, however, and boats are passing almost hourly.


For several days past detachments of the second regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers have been passing our place [by boat]. From the huzzas heard and antics displayed on board, we judge they were in fine spirits. Victory attend them, and may an honorable peace soon enable them to return once more to the bosom of the patriotic old Keystone.

[Note: The Volunteers were on their way to participate in the Mexican War, 1846-48]

The [Parkersburg] Gazette

Jan. 14, 1847



ROMAN BAND CHARIOT Drawn by 10 grey horses of the largest size

This magnificent Car outvies in beauty and splendor anything of the kind ever beheld. In front it presents two Herculean figures — one representing Neptune blowing his sea shell, the other that of the Colossus of Rhodes bearing an emblem of heathen mythology. The whole chariot is composed of statuary and literally covered with GOLD. The panels are adorned with appropriate paintings. The tout ensemble is perfect, being surrounded by an immense canopy, supported by two Giraffes, and decorated with silken tapestry, on the apex of which is perched an AMERICAN EAGLE.

The length of the chariot…30 feet; Height to summit of canopy…20 feet; The weight in full…8,000 pounds.

Will be Exhibited at BELPRE (opposite Parkersburg) August 30th., from 1 P. M. to 4 P. M.

Admission 25 Cents; Children under ten years of age 15 cents.

Excerpt from, The [Parkersburg] Gazette,

Aug. 19, 1847


Follow-Up: A internet search resulted in a review of this same Zoological Exhibition held at Fredonia, New York in 1845. It was printed in the Frontier Express of Fredonia, Sept. 8, 1845: “The Menagerie Show came off in our village on Friday last ‘according to the bills’ as the saying is. The collection of animals is not as large as we have witnessed. The oriental car is a splendid thing, well worth looking at, and the proprietors are very gentlemanly fellows. The day was warm but fine. There was the usual stirring of the monkeys, squalling of birds, growling of lions, sports of the ring, crying of babies, squeaking of elephants, bawling of gingerbread men and tin peddlers, a host of men, boys and children — and a perfect wilderness of women.”


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back items, please contact him at: roberteenoch@gmail.com, or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.


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