Gauley Bridge Italian Rock Carvings
The Italian Rock Carvings can be found on a sandstone flat along the bank of the New River near the trestle bridge just outside the city of Gauley Bridge, West Virginia. It is believed that the carvings were left behind by the Italians who camped there while working on the train trestle bridge that is still in use today. The drawings include a sailor and a shield.
Backstory and Context
Not much is known about who the stonemasons were or why they carved the drawings. In fact, the carvings are difficult to find. At one time a stone archway marked the entrance to the camp to help orient the carvings but that archway was removed in the 1960s.
One of the more prominent carvings includes a sailor gripping a wheel. This carving is known as "The Mariner." A portion of the sailor's arms and spokes on the wheel are faded due to erosion. In recent years the design has been re-carved. Along with the sailor is a shield with a cross in the center. Under the shield there is a banner with "ITALIAN CAMP" written under it. It is known to be the family crest for the Giovanni family. Under the "CAMP" part of the banner is the signature of the artist who drew it. The last name reads Giovanni. Most of the shield is covered in moss.