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Parkersburg WV 26101

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Colonel John Castelli "Cass" Rathbone--One of only two pictures known to exist. Colonel Rathbone was Parkersburg's most colorful Civil War person. The father of the oil business in West Virginia and the developer of Burning Springs and Volcano. A convert to the Catholic faith, Colonel Rathbone and his family belonged to St. Xavier Parish in Parkersburg where he was chairman of the church congregation during the construction of the present church in 1870. He was also instrumental in the establishment of DeSales Heights Academy. Colonel Rathbone was modest about his charitable contributions. He died in 1908 and is buried in St. Xavier Cemetery Parkersburg.


The Wright Brothers plane flying over Parkersburg in 1910


the Smoot Advertising Company, lining the highways throughout the Central Ohio Valley. Outdoor advertising was a vision of the Smoot Brothers way back in 1902; and their dream of the future The indebtedness of Parkersburg to these promoters of visual commercial language is two-fold: by its outside display sit has helped bring a bout industrial development; and of primary interest to Parkersburg


After the Terrapin Park with the Coliseum Destroyed in 1917 Parkersburg was in bad need of a dance hall in the 1930s Sherman Dils turned the second floor of his Motor Mart Ford Dealership into a dance floor and called it the "Coliseum." big name bands provided music including Guy Lombardo, Tommy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller. guests enjoyed sitting at the revolving Carousel bar, drinking 3.2 beers. Dils adapted a Ford Model T Motor to turn the Carousel. today Warner Pontiac Occupies the former Coliseum.


The 1931 Parkersburg high School Football Team finished with a record of 8-2. front row from left: Unidentified, Unidentified, Bretany Bowser, Mackay Smith, Cliff Hoblitzell, Gene Beatty, Ashford Broadwater, Bob Roberts, Jim Deem, Frank Sayer and Bill Tebay. second row: Clyde Barker (M anager), Hector Rothwell, John Starr, Gerald Guice, Gordon Sams, William Owens, Wilbur Golden, Louis Cremer, Carl Mcatee, Unidentified, Unidentified, Nile Hartleben, John Halfhill and Charles Daugherty (Manager). third row: coach Ross McHenry, Clyde Cox, Henry Dils, Max Jackson, Owen Bowser, Leonard Barnum, Coy Cross, Leo Ingraham, Dick Oesterle, Don McDiffit and Assistant Coach Paul Steinbicker. top: Shorty Graham, Paul Starkey, Gordon Davis, John Mackey, Bernard Wells, Vernon Cale, Bill Owens, Seldon Stone, Lawrence McCormick, Lowell Moore, Unidentified and Basil Wilson.


Parkersburg High School before the Field house was built, Tennis Courts at right. circa 1926


 In 1916 board of education president Charles E. VanDevender insisted on purchasing 27 acre of land on Dudley Avenue to build a new high school, despite opponents' complaints that the site was a swamp filled with cattails, water snakes, and quicksand. The board of education, however, approved the purchase. Workmen using horse-drawn equipment prepared the field for construction. The building rests on a floating foundation to compensate for the quicksand. Therefore, very few cracks exist, even today.


Charles. E. Van Deoendet & Dick Bingham 1941 Mr. Van Devender Often in the mad rush to acclaim the spectacular deed, one forgets the unheralded man who is frequently responsible for the success of the achievement. Such a man is Mr. Charles E. Van Devender, who worked to secure what seemed to be a vast extent of wasteland as the site for a school-Parkersburg High School. Mr. Van Devender did not labor in vain. He may well be proud of his effort, for now he can look back over the twenty-four years that have elapsed since P. H. S. the second, had its beginning and see that they have been twentyfour years of uninterrupted progress. Since this year Mr. Van Devender's youngest, and last grandson to graduate from P. H. S., is a member of the Spring Class, it is appropriate at this time to pay tribute to the man who made possible our school as it now is. His vision and perseverance we shall always appreciate.


The new Parkersburg Memorial Field house opens the week of November 26 1951


Wood County Schools new Buses are lined up for Inspection at the bus garage 1942 


        Big Red Football Team Circa 1900


1931 PHS Football team front left to right Keith Sams , Eugene Beatty, Ray Owens, Salesman, Coach Ross McHenry, Mckay Smith, Wilbert Golden, back row l to r William  Wise, Coy Cross, Henry Dils, Owen Bowser, Carl Mcatee, Leonard Barnum, Ralph Marshall.  


The Ohio River Railroad Bridge was Completed from Moundville to Parkersburg and Opened for Traffic on Monday June 16 1884. tracks from another line was leased from Moundsville to Wheeling. First train over railroad bridge. Inspection Train and Crew of the Ohio river Railroad which conveyed the Officials of the Company and Friends. as shown standing in front of the train on the tour of the inspection of the newly completed line Parkersbug  to Wheeling on Tuesday June 10 1884 opened to Traffic June 16th Picture Courtesy of Samuel Kieffer


Parkersburg Belpre Bridge Construction Circa. 1915 In 1912, the Parkersburg-Ohio Bridge Company was chartered to construct and operate a bridge across the Ohio River connecting Parkersburg to Belpre. Prior to this, citizens relied on ferry service to cross the Ohio River. A German bridge designer, Hermann Lamb, was hired to plan the new bridge. This postcard shows unidentified workers finishing the deck for the bridge.  


Old Pioneer and coach, built about 1850, visited Parkersburg's Golden Jubilee In 1913


Parkersburg's Best, Perkins Grocery 709 Market Street 1904


Out with the Old in with the New, Davis Appliance Market Street Parkersburg introducing the new Maytag Washers 1940s  the Lady in the Back left is my late Mother in law Micky Grogg 


Parkersburg's first Car System. Captain Sidney Shaw's Mule Powered Car going south on Market Street 1887


Louis Storck Started the Storck Bakery in 1919 at Nineteenth and Latrobe Streets. pictured above is Storck's delivery fleet during the 1950s. for many years storks was Parkersburg 's leading bakery until it closed in 1975.


on march 18, 1920, the Imperial Iee Cream Company announced that its Parkersburg plant was nearing completion. the company had plants in Fairmont , Wheeling , Grafton, and Clarksburg . by mid April the Imperial Ice Cream Company claimed in local newspaper ads, " Imperial the Cream of all Ice Cream will be good Tonight, Tomorrow, and every night." the Ice Cream was delivered in the white truck pictured, which was owned by Mullen Motors 


Meyercord Carter Company, later known as the Vitrolite Company, began operation in Vienna in 1908 the company manufactured an opaque structural glass, an inexpensive substitute for Marble called Vitrolite, that was used for Storefronts, Bathroom and Kitchen walls, and table tops. in 1950 the plant, then owned by Libbey-Owens Ford Glass Company, Produced Fiberglass yarns and Insulation. the plant later operates as part of the Johns-Manville Corporation


To Supply the needs of the Oil and Gas Companies  John M. Crawford, an Irish Immigrant, started the Parkersburg Rig and Reel Company in 1897 in a frame Building covered with sheet iron at the corner of Second and Green Streets. the company Manufactured Drilling Rigs, Machinery, and other Equipment. during World War II Rig and Reel devoted all its Facilities and manpower to producing War Materials.



In 1905 James Monroe Jackson Jr. gave $5,000 to purchase a Fountain in Memory of his father, Judge James Monroe Jackson. the $5,000 was to be taken from his estate before any other funds were removed. William Willard Jackson purchased the Fountain on his Wedding trip to New York . Originally the Fountain had three Tiers; one Tier has been removed because aging. the main features of the Fountain are the Lions with water coming out of their mouth and Parkersburg 's " Lady of the lake " on top of the Fountain. the Fountain was erected 1906 at the main entrance to the Park. Arches with Electric lights originally Illuminated the Fountain


Although Broughton's Dairy and Ice Cream Manufacturing Facilities were in Marietta , Broughton's was very much a part of the Parkersburg scene. this store, located at 717 Market Street next door to Montgomery Ward, was a favorite stopping place for downtown workers and shoppers in the 1930s and 1940s


 The Monroe Hotel owned by Zeb F. Evans, stood in court square were the entrance to the Bureau of Public Dept is today. rooms cost from $1 to $2 daily, depending on whether or not the room had a bath. in its earlier days the Monroe was considered one of Parkersburg 's finest Hotels. however, time did not enhance its reputation and by the 1950s the Monroe was at the center of the red light district. the hotel was demolished by the urban renewal projects of the 1960s


Paul Yielky Stands in front of his Hamburger stand at Fifth and Market Street 1945 in the 50s Paul opened his Hamburger Business to South Side on Camden Ave. with wife Joan and daughter Linda they sold out in 1996


Ramsey Motor Sales Studebaker 1938


Sherman Dils second floor of his Motor Mart Ford Dealership early 1930s that was later known as the Coliseum the largest ball room in the state of West Virginia with 18;000 sq. feet of floor space. latter was a skating rink

After Sherman Dils second floor of his Motor Mart Ford Dealership in 1930s was turned into the Coliseum during the 1930s,'40s and '50s, area residents danced to popular tunes inside Parkersburg's Coliseum. it was billed as West Virginia 's largest ballroom with 18,000 square feet of floor space



The Dils sign on Market Street welcomed shoppers for 88 years. The Dils tradition of excellence began in 1890 when Henry H. Dils III and Jacob McKinney opened a dry goods store on the east side of Market Street, just above Fourth. The store prospered until Henry H. Dils's untimely death due to typhoid fever in 1895. Five years later, Henry's wife Sarah and her two sons, Henry III and Sam, opened a store in the 400 block of Market Street. The store was an immediate success. In 1905, needing room to expand, Henry and Sam purchased the three-story Beehive Store at 521-523 Market Street. Dils Brothers and Company Department Store did business at this location until it closed on
January 16. 1988.


First Floor of Dils Department store in the 1950s.


Dils Brothers and Company offered free delivery of all purchases in a ten- county area. pictured above is their fleet of delivery vehicles in the mid-1930s.

The Chancellor Service Station on 7th Street next door to the Chancellor Hotel 1930s or 40s


Old Broadway Theater, later in the 1950s Rev. Clair Ruble had Hour Of Faith Tabernacle Church there. the building was demolished several years a go.   


Mose Nedeff in front of the Nickel Arcade at 673 7th St. ca 1962 Photo Courtesy Roger Nedeff


Nickel Arcade-pictured is the front entrance of the Nickel Arcade at 673 7th Street, owned by Mose Nedeff. It was a popular East End business that catered to teenagers in the early 1960's. Notice the sign at the door: No Liquor No Beer No Lunch You are Welcome Free to dance. Photo Courtesy Roger Nedeff


Mose Nedeff, Family grocery store at 675 7th st 1946 Photo Courtesy Roger Nedeff


Mike Nedeff, Owner of Nedeff Grocery 1946 Photo Courtesy Roger Nedeff


Nickel Arcade at 673 7th St. ca 1962 Photo Courtesy Roger Nedeff


Soap Box Derby that was held on Market Street. 1950s & 60s Picture Courtesy Lynne Hains Francis


Soap Box Derby that was held on Market Street. 1950s & 60s Picture Courtesy Lynne Hains Francis


Captured Jap Submarine Parkersburg lads with a hankering to go into the Navy wills find interesting the captured Japanese Submarine on display today on Market Street. brought here by the Parkersburg ship no. 85, U. S. Navy Club the sub will be on display in a trailer parked in front of Kresges, until Wednesday evening. the captured sub was a neat suicide job, where the one man crew heard his own funeral service prior to getting onboard himself sealed up and knew that he could live only until he crashed it into an allied ship or his oxygen ran out which was only a matter of hours. twenty ft. long and powered by special batteries, the sub had a cruising range of 200 miles and carried 1,800 lbs. of explosives. that one exhibited here was one of a number tossed upon a beach where allies found it. the exhibition is open to the public without charge but contributions are welcomed. 1947   



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