Backstory and Context
Point Pleasant is one of the most well-known towns in the state of West Virginia. The town has a history of historical events that draw tourists and historians alike from across the country. The area was first discovered in the 1740's by French explorers Pierre Joeseph Cleoron de Blainville who claimed the land in the name of King Louis XV. However, this expedition was a failure because Blainville's failure to communicate with the Native American tribes and lost their support in the upcoming war. During the French and Indian War, General George Washington visited the land now known as Point Pleasant and claimed it to be one of the greatest hunting areas he's even seen.
The Battle of Point Pleasant took place on October 10, 1774 between the Virginia army and the Shawnee and Mingo Tribes. This battle is considered by many to be the first battle of not only the American Revolution, but also Lord Dunmore's War. The battle was quick and one-sided, the natives tried to sneak attack the militia but were quickly turned away and losing ground. The bloody battle soon became hand to hand combat and another group of Virginia calvary rode up and attacked the natives from behind. The most famous soldier was the native Chief Cornstalk who was one of the most feared and respected Native Americans in the area. He worked during the American Revolution to keep his tribe out of conflict. However, Cornstalk was murdered in 1777. Legend says Cornstalks death lead to a curse that would really put Point Pleasant on the map.
On December 15, 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed, falling into the river. 46 people were killed and while experts found the flaw in the design many others had a different idea. Many people claimed to have seen a giant moth-like creature flying around Point Pleasant. Mothman is said to live in an old TNT plant and be a sign of pending danger. Mothman is said to have two massive red eyes and be able to fly with a 10 foot wingspan. Although many dismiss the idea as a urban legend, one photograph shows a creature lurking on the side of the Silver Bridge before it's collapse.
Point Pleasant is a hidden gem in the great state of West Virginia, it is packed full of historcal markers, places, artifacts and stories.
: 'The Collapse of the Silver Bridge'; Chris LeRose, West Virginia Historical Society Quarterly, Volume XV, No. 4, October, 2001 Added by: Colin Harris