The Mansion House Museum
Walter Newman constructed this log structure as a home and operated a tavern with extra rooms for weary travelers. The oldest log-hewn structure in the region, the Mansion House is now operated as a museum by the Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This local history organization continues to meet in the former parlor of the home which includes many rooms filled with historic artifacts. The log home and museum is part of Tu-Endie-Wei State Park and is open to the public from May through October. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Point Pleasant Battleground in 1985.
Backstory and Context
An early settler named Walter Newman journeyed to the Point Pleasant area sometime around 1796. His wife did not join him at first; according to legend, she said she would only follow if he built her a mansion. In order to entice her to come, Newman built a large log home for the family. It consisted of two stories, a basement, an attic, and several rooms. It is believed to be the first hand hewn log house built in Mason County and the Kanawha Valley. While waiting for his wife to arrive, Newman began operating the house as a tavern for travelers; supposedly he charged fifty cents a night.
The Mansion House, as it later became known, survived for the next century, with additions and upgrades being made over the years. At the start of the twentieth century, efforts began being made to preserve the Point Pleasant battlefield on which the house stood. These efforts, spearheaded by newspaper editor Livia Poffenbarger, controversially centered on trying to have Point Pleasant designated as the first battle of the American Revolution. In 1901 Poffenbarger organized the Colonel Charles Lewis chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and launched a project to restore the Mansion House to its original condition. That same year the West Virginia state legislature passed a bill establishing Tu-Endie-Wei State Park; one provision designated the Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter to be the custodians of the house. Sometime around 1911 overhangs were added to the house for protection. In 1985 it was included with the Point Pleasant Battleground when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Today the Mansion House is open to the public on a regular basis as part of Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. One portion of the home contains a visitor’s center and gift shop for the park. Other rooms have been furnished with colonial and early American pieces, including what is believed to be one of the oldest clocks to cross the Appalachian Mountains. Also on display are Native American artifacts and other items relevant to the area’s local history. The local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter continue to hold their meetings here as well.
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“History and mystery at the Mansion House.” Point Pleasant Register. August 29, 2017. Accessed November 4, 2018. https://www.mydailyregister.com/news/17640/history-and-mystery-at-the-mansion-house
“Manufactured History: Re-Fighting the Battle of Point Pleasant.” West Virginia History 56 (1997): 76-87. Accessed November 4, 2018. http://www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvh56-5.html
Prats, J. J. “The Mansion House.” The Historical Marker Database. October 24, 2018. Accessed November 4, 2018. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=125374
“WV State Society Daughters of the American Revolution Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter Point Pleasant, WV.” WV DAR. August 15, 2016. Accessed November 4, 2018. http://www.wvdar.org/ColonelCharlesLewis/