Update: "Long Tom" cannon now in Wood County hands

Published: Nov. 12, 2019 at 6:01 PM EST
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Update: 12/19/2019

"Long Tom" is now officially Wood County property.

The county commission Thursday finalized its transfer from the city of Parkersburg.

The Civil War-era cannon had been a fixture at City Park for decades. It will soon be transferred to Fort Boreman Historical Park, operated by Wood County.

The county had interest in the historic cannon for a long time. Council President Blair Couch, meanwhile, said he recently was approached by a council member to exchange the cannon for the county's control of Bicentennial Park.

"And to change anything required city council, county commission (approval)," Couch said at Thursday's meeting. "And let's be blunt, the city of Parkersburg is maintaining that area underneath, with their maintenance department. So it makes sense."

The city had been seeking the commission's approval, for use of Bicentennial Park for events such as A Taste of Parkersburg.

Wood County has plans for the historic cannon, which, according to county research, dates back to 1863.

It wants to renovate it, and-according to Couch-even fire it off on occasions.

Update: 11/16/2019

For now, a Civil War-era cannon will remain at Parkersburg City Park.

City Council November 12 approved an exchange of the cannon for Wood County's ownership of Bicentennial Park.

The move would transfer the cannon to Fort Boreman Historical Park.

But the Wood County Commission Monday decided to wait until it gets the deed for the cannon from the city before going ahead with the deal.

And once it does get the cannon, the artifact is expected to get some renovations.

"I talked to Mayor (Tom) Joyce, and (the city) was going to be assistive in moving the cannon," Commission President Blair Couch said Monday. "But we're probably going to move it to a different facility to be renovated...rehabilitated."

The commission also plans to meet in the coming weeks with the owners of property located off route 31.

The county's compliance office has been unsuccessful in persuading the owners from removing inoperable vehicles from the site.

Update: 11/12/2019

Parkersburg City Council is to decided Tuesday night whether to allow a Civil War-era cannon to be transferred to Fort Boreman Park.

The "Long Tom" cannon has been a fixture for decades at Parkersburg City Park, where it currently is placed near military vehicles and veterans memorials.

But the head of Wood County's Historical Society believes Fort Boreman is the proper location for the 3500-pound cannon.

"It is peeling, and I certainly don't like the foundation it is on. I think it will be much more appreciated on Fort Boreman Hill. I sympathize with the people who have seen it in the park, but I think it's going to be much more appreciated on Fort Boreman Hill."

It originally was transported to Fort Boreman Hill at the turn of the 20th Century, after it had its service in the war.

If council approves the measure Tuesday night, the city would get county-owned property near Bicentennial Park.



City Council approved the exchange 7-to-1 Tuesday evening, in exchange for the property at Bicentennial Park. This will eliminate the need to ask permission of the county every time the city wants to use the park.

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