Parkersburg, West Virginia facts for kids

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City of Parkersburg
City
Downtown Parkersburg as viewed from Fort Boreman Historical Park in 2006
Downtown Parkersburg as viewed from Fort Boreman Historical Park in 2006
Official seal of City of Parkersburg
Seal
Nickname(s): The Burg, P-Burg, The Savings Bond Capital of America, OD Burg, The World of the Burg, Burgland, Marble Capital of the World
Motto: Where West Virginia Began
Location in Wood County in the State of West Virginia
Location in Wood County in the State of West Virginia
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Wood
Incorporated 1810
Area
 • City 12.35 sq mi (31.99 km2)
 • Land 11.82 sq mi (30.61 km2)
 • Water 0.53 sq mi (1.37 km2)  4.29%
Elevation 614 ft (187 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 31,492
 • Estimate (2015) 30,991
 • Density 2,664.3/sq mi (1,028.7/km2)
 • Metro 92,082 (US: 365th)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 26101, 26102, 26103, 26104, 26105, 26106
Area code(s) 304, 681
FIPS code 54-62140
GNIS feature ID 1544587
Website http://www.parkersburg-wv.com/

Parkersburg is a city in and the county seat of Wood County, West Virginia, United States. Located at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers, it is the state's third-largest city and the largest city in the Parkersburg–MariettaVienna Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 31,492 at the 2010 census. Its peak of population was more than 44,000 in 1960. The city is about 14 miles south of Marietta, Ohio.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reached Parkersburg in 1857, but lacked a crossing over the Ohio River until after the American Civil War. When the B&O completed the Parkersburg Bridge (CSX) 1868-1870 to Belpre, it was the longest railroad bridge in the world.

The Bureau of the Public Debt, an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, was relocated from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in the late 20th century and headquartered in Parkersburg. In October 2012, it was merged with the Financial Management Service to form the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

History

White settlers originally named the city Newport when they settled it in the late 18th century following the American Revolutionary War. This was part of a westward migration of settlers from parts of Virginia to the east, closer to the Atlantic Ocean. A town section was laid out on land granted to Alexander Parker for his Revolutionary War service. Virginia made grants of land to veterans for their war service. The title conflicts between Parker and the city planners of Newport were settled in 1809 in favor of his heirs. The town was renamed Parkersburg in 1810. It was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1820. It was rechartered as a city in 1860.

The town was the western terminus of both the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike and the Northwestern Turnpike. In 1857 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad built a branch line south to the town from Wheeling, West Virginia. Travelers wanting to connect with the Ohio Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad, one of the east-west lines along the Ohio River, had to take a steamboat 14 miles north to Marietta, Ohio.

Jacob Linville designed the railroad bridge planned by the B&O. It was constructed in 1868–1870 between Parkersburg and Belpre, Ohio, as part of the B&O's main line from Baltimore to St. Louis, Missouri. This drew traffic and trade from Marietta. Today the structure is known as the Parkersburg Bridge (CSX).

Parkersburg served as a transportation and medical center for Union forces during the American Civil War. It developed further as a transportation hub in the gas and oil boom following that war.

Blennerhassett Island is a historical site located in Parkersburg.

In the late 19th century Parkersburg emerged as a major oil refining center serving nearby oilfields at Volcano and Burning Springs. The Camden Consolidated Oil Company, founded in 1866 by future U.S. Senator Johnson Newlon Camden, dominated the refining business and was sold to Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company in 1875. Camden became a Standard director and vice president and, along with John W. Davis, dominated West Virginia politics until the early 20th century.

In the post-World War II period, Parkersburg became one of the leading industrial centers of the Ohio Valley, producing chemicals, glass, O. Ames tools, textiles (especially American Viscose Company rayon), plastics and polymers, iron, and steel.

Geography

Parkersburg is located at 39°15'58" North, 81°32'32" West (39.266175, −81.542139).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.35 square miles (31.99 km2), of which, 11.82 square miles (30.61 km2) is land and 0.53 square miles (1.37 km2) is water.

The city is situated at the confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers. The Little Kanawha River divides the north and south sides of the city. Worthington Creek, a tributary of the Little Kanawha River, flows through the eastern part of the city.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and cold winters and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Parkersburg has a Humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Parkersburg, West Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 76
(24.4)
74
(23.3)
86
(30)
91
(32.8)
94
(34.4)
97
(36.1)
101
(38.3)
99
(37.2)
102
(38.9)
90
(32.2)
80
(26.7)
77
(25)
102
(38.9)
Average high °F (°C) 40.4
(4.67)
44.3
(6.83)
54.1
(12.28)
66.5
(19.17)
75.3
(24.06)
83.7
(28.72)
86.9
(30.5)
86.2
(30.11)
79.4
(26.33)
67.4
(19.67)
55.8
(13.22)
44.0
(6.67)
65.4
(18.56)
Average low °F (°C) 23.8
(-4.56)
25.3
(-3.72)
32.2
(0.11)
41.8
(5.44)
51.6
(10.89)
61.0
(16.11)
65.5
(18.61)
63.8
(17.67)
56.1
(13.39)
44.0
(6.67)
35.7
(2.06)
27.6
(-2.44)
44.1
(6.72)
Record low °F (°C) −14
(-25.6)
−10
(-23.3)
1
(-17.2)
19
(-7.2)
29
(-1.7)
36
(2.2)
49
(9.4)
42
(5.6)
35
(1.7)
21
(-6.1)
8
(-13.3)
−2
(-18.9)
−14
(-25.6)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.1
(79)
2.7
(69)
3.8
(97)
3.4
(86)
4.5
(114)
4.2
(107)
4.9
(124)
3.5
(89)
3.1
(79)
2.8
(71)
3.1
(79)
3.1
(79)
42.1
(1,069)
Snowfall inches (cm) 5.3
(13.5)
3.1
(7.9)
0.5
(1.3)
0.8
(2)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.2
(0.5)
1.4
(3.6)
11.3
(28.7)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 12.0 10.3 12.2 12.3 13.0 10.8 11.0 9.3 9.0 9.2 11.1 12.3 132.5
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 3.0 1.7 0.6 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.5 7.0
Sunshine hours 115.5 131.0 182.3 208.1 248.0 257.3 255.0 245.2 212.5 193.9 117.1 93.4 2,259.3
Source #1: Weatherbase
Source #2: NOAA (sun 1961–1990)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,218
1860 2,493 104.7%
1870 5,546 122.5%
1880 6,582 18.7%
1890 8,408 27.7%
1900 11,703 39.2%
1910 17,842 52.5%
1920 20,050 12.4%
1930 29,623 47.7%
1940 30,103 1.6%
1950 29,684 −1.4%
1960 44,797 50.9%
1970 44,208 −1.3%
1980 39,946 −9.6%
1990 33,862 −15.2%
2000 33,099 −2.3%
2010 31,492 −4.9%
Est. 2015 30,991 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
2014 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 31,492 people, 13,807 households, and 8,086 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,664.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,028.7/km2). There were 15,562 housing units at an average density of 1,316.6 per square mile (508.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 2.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 13,807 households of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.4% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 41.2 years. 21.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25% were from 25 to 44; 27.5% were from 45 to 64; and 18% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 33,099 people, 14,467 households, and 8,767 families residing in the city. In 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Parkersburg's population had decreased 0.5% to 31,261. The population density was 2,800.5 people per square mile (1,081.2/km2). There were 16,100 housing units at an average density of 1,362.2 per square mile (525.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.36% White, 1.75% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.81% of the population.

ParkersburgWV Aerial
An aerial view of downtown Parkersburg in 2005.

There were 14,467 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.2% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% have someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,120, and the median income for a family was $29,731. Males had a median income of $28,320 versus $18,203 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,820. About 23.3% of families and 21.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.2% of those under the age of 18 and 12.5% of those 65 and older.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

Parkersburg Municipal Building
The Parkersburg Municipal Building
Parkersburg West Virginia floodwall
The Parkersburg floodwall

The Annual Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival is held in June, and is an international festival featuring traditional dance and music and an international marketplace. The Parkersburg Homecoming Festival is held in August and features a parade, fireworks, half-marathon, competitions and entertainment.

The Taste of Parkersburg is an event held around Memorial Day each year since 2006 which features food and drinks from local vendors.

The Downtown Throwdown is BBQ and beer festival held in September. It is co-hosted by Downtown PKB and the Parkersburg Area Jaycees and was started in 2014.

Tourism

Wood County Courthouse Parkersburg West Virginia
The Wood County Courthouse

Several museums are located in Parkersburg, including The Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History, the Henry Cooper House, the Oil and Gas Museum, the Sumnerite African-American History Museum, The Artcraft Studio and the Veterans Museum of Mid-Ohio Valley.

Neighborhoods

North Parkersburg (North End)

Chancellor House
The Chancellor House in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District.

Beechwood, Downtown, Fairview Heights, Granada Hills, Julia-Ann Square, Meadowcrest, Oakwood Estates, Quincy Hill, Riverside, Woodland Park, North End, Worthington, East End

South Parkersburg (South Side)

The southern part of the City of Parkersburg, South Parkersburg was a separate city until it became part of Parkersburg in 1950. Suburban parts of southern Wood County include Blennerhassett, Lubeck, and Washington to the southwest, with Mineral Wells located to the southeast.

Awards

  • CNNMoney.com named the city the #7 Best Shrinking Place to Live

Sister cities

Images for kids


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