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"Parkersburg" redirects here. For other uses, see Parkersburg (disambiguation).
City of Parkersburg

Downtown Parkersburg as viewed from Fort Boreman Historical Park in 2006

Nickname(s): The Burg, P-Burg, The Savings Bond Capital of America, The World of the Burg, Burgland, Marble Capital of the World
Motto: Where West Virginia Began
West Virginia

Coordinates: 39°15′58″N 81°32′32″W / 39.26611°N 81.54222°W / 39.26611; -81.54222Coordinates: 39°15′58″N 81°32′32″W / 39.26611°N 81.54222°W / 39.26611; -81.54222

Country United States
State West Virginia
County Wood
Incorporated 1810
 • Mayor Robert Newell
 • 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)[2]
 • City 31,492
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 31,261
 • Density 2,664.3/sq mi (1,028.7/km2)
 • Metro 164,264
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[4]

Parkersburg, located at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers, is the third largest city in the State of West Virginia. It is the county seat of Wood County[5] and the largest city in the Parkersburg–MariettaVienna Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 31,492 at the 2010 census. It is about 14 miles south of Marietta, Ohio.

Parkersburg was connected to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1857, but lacked a crossing over the Ohio River until after the American Civil War. When constructed 1868-1870, the Parkersburg Bridge (CSX) by the B&O to Belpre 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, DC metropolitan area and is headquartered in Parkersburg.


Parkersburg was originally named Newport when it was laid out in the late 18th century following the American Revolutionary War. A town section was laid out over land granted to Alexander Parker for his Revolutionary War service, as Virginia, which then controlled the territory, was using land grants in lieu of cash payments to veterans. 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 terminus of 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. 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.

A planned railroad bridge was designed by Jacob Linville and finally constructed by the B&O in 1868–1870 between Parkersburg and Belpre, Ohio, as part of its main line from Baltimore to St. Louis, Missouri.[6] This pulled away traffic and trade from Marietta. Today the structure is known as the Parkersburg Bridge (CSX).

The town was important as a transportation and medical center during the American Civil War. It became a transportation hub in the gas and oil boom following that war.

Blennerhassett Island is a historical site located in Parkersburg.


Parkersburg is located at 39°15'58" North, 81°32'32" West (39.266175, −81.542139).[7]

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.[1]

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.[8]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201231,261−0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2012 Estimate[10]

2010 census

As of the census[2] 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.[11] 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.

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.



North Parkersburg (North End)

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.


The Parkersburg News and Parkersburg Sentinel were the city's two major daily newspapers until 2009 when they combined to form one daily edition, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. The same company also publishes the Marietta A.M. and Graffiti, West Virginia's alternative news magazine.

There are many radio stations broadcasting from Parkersburg, including 106.1 Z106 (WRZZ),102.1 The River (WRVB), U.S. 107 WNUS, MIX 100 (WDMX), V96.9 (WVVV), WXIL, Froggy 99.1, and 103.1 The Bear.

WTAP, the local NBC affiliate, is the main local television station.[12]


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.
  • Ohio Valley University is located nearby in Vienna.
  • Meredith Manor, a private technical school for equestrians, is located slightly north of the city in Waverly.

High schools

Parkersburg is the home of the Parkersburg Catholic High School Crusaders.

Middle schools

Middle schools include Van Devender, Edison, and Hamilton.

Jackson Middle School is located in Vienna although it has a Parkersburg mailing address. Blennerhassett Junior High School is adopting the "middle school" designation.



  • Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History
  • Henry Cooper Log Cabin Museum
  • Oil and Gas Museum
  • Sumnerite African-American History Museum
  • The Artcraft Studio
  • Veterans Museum of Mid-Ohio Valley



The Wood County Ravens, a semi-professional football team, is based in the city. The Ravens are a part of the Mountain State Football League.[13][14]

Parkersburg was home to the Ohio Valley Redcoats, a minor league baseball team, until 1998. The city is in negotiations to bring professional baseball back to Parkersburg.[15]

In 2008, the city and its three high schools placed second in ESPN's TitleTown USA competition.[16]

"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. Both schools mentioned hereafter are AAA schools. In Parkersburg, we have accumulated 192 overall state championships in 103 years with 183 if those coming since 1950. Parkersburg High School alone has 137 championships in its 103 years of existence. There is also another AAA school in Parkersburg called Parkersburg South High School, who, by the way, 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"[17] as written in an article on

Film and television

  • The Steven Soderbergh film Bubble, released in 2006, was filmed in Parkersburg and neighboring Belpre, Ohio, using an all-local cast.
  • Parkersburg was mentioned in the novel Night of the Hunter (1953) and the 1955 film by the same name adapted from it. In Davis Grubb's 1953 novel, Parkersburg was the town where the preacher Harry Powell was caught for car theft and sent to prison. It was worldly town that Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish in the film) avoided because she'd been short-changed; and finally it was the home of the state troopers who came to arrest Powell for murder. Powell called Parkersburg, "One of them Sodoms on the Ohio River," referring to its reputation as a rough river town in the 19th and early 20th century.
  • Parkersburg was the set for the 1962 television series It's a Man's World.[18]
  • The city was featured in a 1989 episode of Rescue 911.
  • Other films shot in the city are Salvage and The Barbecue.[18]
  • Parkersburg was featured in a 2013 episode of the NBC post-apocalyptic science fiction television drama series Revolution [19]

Notable people


  • named the city the #7 Best Shrinking Place to Live [21]

Sister cities


The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Parkersburg has a Humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[23]

Climate data for Parkersburg, West Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4
Average low °C (°F) −5
Precipitation mm (inches) 81
Source: Weatherbase [24]

See also


External links

  • Parkersburg's website
  • Parkersburg Skate Plaza Foundation's website
  • Parkersburg, West Virginia: A Vintage Portrait
  • Greater Parkersburg Tourism
  • WTAP News (local NBC affiliate)
  • The Parkersburg News (local newspaper)
  • Parkersburg Police
  • Parkersburg Fire
  • Detailed history; 1,000 vintage photos
  • Detailed history of Diana DeRose's rock group

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