Look Back: Landmarks come and go

The Camden Mausoleum was prominently placed in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, overlooking what is today Murdoch Avenue. (Photo by Bob Enoch)

An Old Landmark: “Dutch” Henry’s Resort Will Soon Be No More

The old brick house above Riverside, which has been for years known as “Dutch” Henry’s home, is sliding into the river [the Ohio]. The waters have washed away the banks adjoining the house, gradually encroaching upon the foundation walls, until at last the old mansion is about to go.

P.M. Smith, who has for some time occupied the house, was compelled to move out yesterday, on account of the great danger of a sudden collapse.

Henry Becker, an old and respected German built the house, and lived in it for many years. It was a noted pleasure resort under his management, where fine wines of his own make were served the guests.

Mr. Becker’s two daughters, Mrs. Hugo Heydenreicht, and Mrs. R. Collins who are still living here, were raised in that house and will be sorry when they read this to learn that their old home is being rapidly engulfed in the waves of the Beautiful River. None of the surroundings, however, look as they did in the palmsy days of Uncle Henry, the whole place has fallen into decay soon after Mr. Becker left it.

River boat pilots will soon look in vain for the old landmark, that was for years one of their beacons up and down the river. [Note — Riverside was the area on the Ohio River near what would be 19th Street extended, just below the Memorial Bridge].

The Parkersburg Morning News

April 1, 1898


Will Build Mausoleum

Senator J.N. Camden closed a deal with the directors of the Odd Fellows Cemetery [now Parkersburg Memorial Gardens], Thursday, by which he secures a plot of ground in the new addition to the cemetery for the purpose of building a vault on it.

The plot is 40×52 feet and is on the top of the knoll overlooking the Sand Road [now Murdoch Avenue]. Mr. Camden will build a mausoleum and it will be the most magnificent in the state.

A Cincinnati architect has submitted a set of plans from which the design will be taken and the contract given. The consideration paid the Off Fellows for the ground was $1,020.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

May, 1899


CAMDEN BOULEVARD: Is To Replace the Name of Famous Old Sands Road

The broad level sweep of territory at the top of the bluff along the right side of Sand Road [Murdoch Avenue] going north from the pottery [A.P. Donaghho’s pottery works located near Murdoch Avenue and what is now Emerson Avenue] is to be beautified as the Camden private park. There are 200 acres of the plateau, and all the plans have been completed for making it the prettiest spot in all the country ’round.

All the plateau is to have the touch of the landscape gardener, while flower beds will punctuate the pretty green areas. There is a spring on the bluff, which used to feed an old watering trough on Sand Road, and in place of the trough there is to be a fountain which the spring will furnish water for.

Excerpt from The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Aug. 1, 1899


Note: Camden’s park would have been just across Bull Creek Road [now Emerson Avenue] from Terrapin Park which opened earlier in 1899. The spring which is mentioned would have been the Wilson Spring which many old-timers will remember as being on Murdoch Avenue across from the present Horner and Harrison Store. For whatever reason, Camden’s Park or boulevard didn’t materialize.


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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