UPDATED: 1-24-2023


The entrance of the new park in 1897.

In 1897, at a cost of $52,000, the City of Parkersburg purchased 42 acres of land for use as a city park. Other land was added later. In 1902 a member of the prominent Jackson family bequested $5,000 for the erection of a fountain at the park's main gates at the corner of Park and Seventeenth Streets.

The entrance and fountain in the early 1900s.

The Jackson family donated the Memorial Fountain at the entrance of the park.

A 1920s party at the fountain. (Courtesy of Alicia Marie)

The Lily Lake, now called the Lily Pond, in the 1930s.

Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy campaigns for U.S. President in the City Park on May 1, 1960.

Long Tom, a Civil War cannon that once sat on Fort Boreman, was moved to its present City Park location (seen here in the 1930s) by the Kiwanis Club in 1922.

New Confederate monument.

The Henry Cooper log house has been sitting at the City Park since 1910. It was built around 1801 by Henry Cooper on W.Va. 14 near the old Cooper cemetery in what is now Slate District outside Mineral Wells near Bonnivale. The City of Parkersburg bought the cabin in 1910 from Cooper's descendants for $400, dismantled it and rebuilt it log by log at City Park as an example of early American log work.

Recently the city received $66,666 in grants to rebuild the first floor deck of the house because of longterm water damage. The cabin is leased to the Centennial Chapter of the Daughters of the American Pioneers, which runs it as a museum.

(Thanks to Jesse Mancini)

Kids ride the Kiddie-Air-O-Plane at a park carnival on July 4, 1947.

A section of the will of James Monroe Jackson Jr.
Wood Co., WV Book 9:288
Written 3 May 1899
(Jackson died February 14, 1901)

It is my will and desire and I do direct that my said Executors shall of proper __and set aside five thousand Dollars out of my personal estate before any division thereof shall be made among my children, and that they erect or cause to be erected a public fountain within the limits of the City of Parkersburg upon some public park on square to be furnished by the authorities of said city, which fountain shall be accepted by them upon the conditions, that they shall protect, care for and keep in good repair the said fountain and the same property supplied with water for running of the same. The said Fountain to be known ad the “The Jackson Fountain.” My said Executors are to ec____the said five thousand dollars aforementioned in the erection of such fountain of suitable design, and as ornamental as can be procured for the amount of money appropriated as aforesaid, and after the completion of said fountain, my said executors are directed to turn the same over to the authorities of said City of Parkersburg. But should the authorities of said city decline to accept the fountain provided for herein and upon the conditions therein mentioned, then this bequest is to be void, and the said five thousand Dollars to revert to and become part of my estate and be disposed of a herein provided for as to the residue of my estate.   -   Courtesy of Linda B. Meyers


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