Rivers play key role
The rivers always have played an integral role in the daily lives of Parkersburg residents.
The confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers has served as an important juncture since Parkersburg first was first chartered in 1820.
The Little Kanawha has provided an important way to move materials to market since the 1800s. Today, the Little Kanawha is used mainly for recreational purposes.
The Ohio River still serves as an important transportation link for area businesses. Several of the area’s largest employers are located on the river and use it to transport both raw and finished materials. Through a series of locks and dams, the river can be used for shipping and recreation year-round.
The Ohio River also is a popular recreation destination. Blennerhassett Island features a restored mansion and is accessible by a fleet of sternwheelers.
Several floods in the early 1900s caused heavy damage to downtown Parkersburg. In March 1947 the city began construction of a floodwall around the downtown area.