PARKERSBURG W.Va (WTAP)- The home of Hugh Phelps is the oldest brick home in Wood County.
Members of the Wood County Historical and Preservation society say that they believe the year that the house was constructed gave insight into the pivotal role it played in West Virginia History.
“1799…Which would have been the date that- 1799 that Wood County was formed. And the fact that the Governor of Virginia wanted them to meet in Hugh Phelps’ house is one of the reasons that we think the way we do,” explains Bob Enoch, the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society President.
They believe that the Phelps house was the very place where Wood County was formed. It's also believed that the house also served as the first every Wood County Court house.
Now owned by The Wood County Historical and Preservation Society, the group is working to restore the home as closely as they can to what it used to look like.
“We’ve tried to recreate the house to a period look which we think we’ve done a decent job of. Just recently we recreated what was called a summer kitchen which they used in the early years and again we’re proud of that,” explains Enoch.
Items inside the home have been donated to help tell the story of its rich history, but the group sees it as something even more meaningful than a museum.
“We’re not really setting up as a museum. We have set it up so that people can come and do research on the area. We have books, pamphlets, photographs, family histories. We want people to learn about their history. That’s what we want to do. We want to preserve it,” says Dottie Bibbee, the Vice President of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society.
So the home has been turned into a research center, enriching the community with its own history while giving residents the opportunity to discover their own.
“It’s what our future generations are going to have to remember and to relive- this great history that we have here in the area,” notes Enoch.
“We learn from history. And if you fail to share this with your children and your grandchildren, there are no roots anymore for anybody…This is where it began,” says Bibbee.
“A few years ago Dave McKain did a book on where it all began. It’s about oil. But as Dottie just said, this is where it began. This is where Parkersburg- Wood County began,” adds Enoch.
“Right here,” Bibbee adds.
The home is locates at 2401 Camden Avenue in Parkersburg.
Research Center hours are Wednesday from noon to three or by appointment.
Preview on 1/3/19
The home of Hugh Phelps is the oldest brick home in Wood County. Built in the early 1800’s, the home has stood through pivotal moments of West Virginia history. Members of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society believe that Wood County was actually formed in the Phelps house because of a meeting that took place in the home ordered by the Governor of Virginia.
“This is where it began,” says Dottie Bibbee, the Vice President of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society.
“A few years ago Dave McKain did a book on where it all began. It’s about oil. But as Dottie just said, this is where it began. This is where Parkersburg- Wood County began,” adds Bob Enoch, the society’s President.
“Right here,” Bibbee adds.
The Phelps house will be featured this week for our This is Home segment airing Friday at 6.