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Parkersburg, West Virginia
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 Parkersburg, West Virginia
The Burg, P-Burg, PKB, The Savings Bond Capital of America, Marble Capital of the World
Where West Virginia Began
Location of Parkersburg in Wood County, West Virginia.
Location of Parkersburg in Wood County, West Virginia.
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Wood
Incorporated 1810
 • City 12.33 sq mi (31.94 km2)
 • Land 11.78 sq mi (30.52 km2)
 • Water 0.55 sq mi (1.43 km2)  4.29%
614 ft (187 m)
 • City 31,492
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,487.35/sq mi (960.34/km2)
 • Metro
92,082 (US: 365th)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
26101, 26102, 26103, 26104, 26105, 26106
Area code(s) 304, 681
FIPS code 54-62140
GNIS feature ID 1544587

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 fourth-largest city and the largest city in the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna metropolitan area. The population was 31,492 at the 2010 census. 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.


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.


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.


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
Average high °F (°C) 40.4
Average low °F (°C) 23.8
Record low °F (°C) −14
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.1
Average snowfall inches (cm) 5.3
Average 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
Average 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
Mean monthly 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)


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%
2019 (est.) 29,306 −6.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

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.

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.


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.


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.


  • named the city the #7 Best Shrinking Place to Live

Sister cities


The Wood County Ravens, a semi-professional football team, was based in the city. The Ravens were a part of the now defunct Mountain State Football League.

Parkersburg was home to the Ohio Valley Redcoats, a minor league baseball team, until 1998. The city was in negotiations to bring professional baseball back to Parkersburg but those negotiations fell through because of lack of support from the community.

In 2008, the city and its three high schools placed second in ESPN's TitleTown USA competition.

"We don't have a lot of people, nor any professional sports teams, but here is a stat for you. AAA is the highest level that a high school can compete at in W.Va. Two of the three schools mentioned hereafter are AAA schools. In Parkersburg, we have accumulated 192 overall state championships in 103 years with 183 of those coming since 1950. Parkersburg High School alone has 137 championships in its 103 years of existence. Parkersburg South High School has 38 titles in 40 years. Not to be outdone Parkersburg Catholic, a single A school, has 17 state titles of its own. Not bad considering that there are 136 high school teams in West Virginia with 38 in AAA. We may not have a pro sports team, but in high school sports, Parkersburg as a whole is pretty dominant" as written in an article on

Parks and recreation

There are several parks in the area, including Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, Bicentennial Park, Corning Park, Point Park, Southwood Park, Quincy Park, City Park, Johnson T. Janes Park, Friendship Park, Fort Boreman Historical Park, Mountwood Park and Fries Park.


Higher education

  • Mountain State College, a private, for-profit, two-year college, is located in the city.
  • West Virginia University at Parkersburg, a public college, is located on the outskirts of the city.
  • Parkersburg Bible College, a private Christian school
  • Centurion Bible College
  • Ohio Valley University is located nearby in Vienna.

High schools

Parkersburg is the home of the Parkersburg High School Big Reds, Parkersburg South High School Patriots, and the Parkersburg Catholic High School Crusaders. The Wood County Technical Center is part of Wood County Public Schools.

Middle schools

There were, as of May 2020, five middle schools dispersed throughout the city.

Elementary schools

There were, as of May 2020, 18 elementary schools dispersed throughout the city.


Bridges are dope (34933586781)
Aerial view of the Ohio River from Parkersburg


Parkersburg is served by two major highways, Interstate 77 and US 50. Other routes through the city include WV routes 2, 14, 47, 68, 95 and 618.

Parkersburg is served by Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, with three flights a day Monday through Friday from Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Parkersburg is served by freight rail. Passenger rail is no longer available. Into the 1960s, several major long distance train routes made stops in Parkersburg. These included the Baltimore and Ohio's National Limited to St. Louis to the west and Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Jersey City to the east. From 1976 to 1981 Amtrak operated the Shenandoah (Amtrak train), serving Cincinnati to the west and Washington, D.C., to the east.

Notable people

  • Allen Appel, novelist
  • Walt Barnes, professional football player and actor
  • Dick Biddle, college football coach
  • Zac Boggs, soccer player
  • Harman Blennerhassett, ally of Aaron Burr and owner of Blennerhassett Island
  • Sybil Carmen, Ziegfeld Girl and silent film actress
  • Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios
  • Jim Dawson, cultural historian
  • Paul Dooley, Hollywood character actor
  • Leah Bodine Drake, poet
  • Edmund Burke Fairfield, 12th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan and Chancellor of University of Nebraska
  • Paul Goldsmith, member of Motorcycle Hall of Fame
  • Linda Goodman, astrology author
  • Tommy Hanlon, Jr., Australian television presenter
  • Dick Hoblitzel, outfielder in Major League Baseball
  • Homer A. Holt, justice of West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
  • Cy Hungerford, political cartoonist for Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Jacob B. Jackson, Governor of West Virginia 1881-85
  • John Jay Jackson, Jr., U.S. federal judge
  • Lily Irene Jackson (1848–1928), artist and daughter of John Jay Jackson, Jr.
  • Robert Lichello, author
  • Leon Claire Metz, historian, author, documentary personality, lecturer on American West
  • Hunter Holmes Moss, Jr., Republican U.S. Representative
  • Earle "Greasy" Neale (1891–1973), professional football and baseball player
  • Gary Null, nutritionist and author
  • Devon Odessa, actress and film producer
  • Buck Rinehart, Republican, Mayor of Columbus, Ohio
  • Bill Robinson, jazz singer
  • Morgan Spurlock, documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter, and political activist
  • Mick Staton, Republican, U.S. Representative
  • William E. Stevenson, Governor of West Virginia 1869-71
  • Felix Stump, admiral in U.S. Navy and Commander, United States Pacific Fleet
  • Nick Swisher, professional baseball player and Steve's son
  • Steve Swisher, professional baseball player and Nick's father
  • Peter G. Van Winkle, Republican U.S. Senator
  • Richard Watts, Jr., film critic for New York Herald Tribune
  • Gibby Welch, professional football player
  • Albert B. White, Governor of West Virginia 1901-05
  • Deron Williams, professional basketball player
  • Jay Wolfe, West Virginia State Senator and U.S. Senate candidate
  • Chase Fieler, professional basketball player
  • Tyler Hines, N/A
  • John D. Hoblitzell Jr., U.S. Senator, born and raised in Parkersburg

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Parkersburg (Virginia Occidental) para niños

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