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Ceredo Historical Society Museum

Museums, Galleries and Archives (Local and County Historical Societies, Museums, and Archives)


The Ceredo Museum is a local history museum operated by the Ceredo Historical Society. Established in 1975, its goal is to "preserve the History of Ceredo for future generations." The museum boasts a wide-ranging collection of artifacts from throughout Ceredo's history, with the Civil War and C-K High School in particular. The museum houses the Ceredo Petroglyph, one of the largest and best-preserved petroglyphs in the United States. There are also many documents, books, photos, microfilms, census records, cemetery listings, and family histories for conducting research.

The Ceredo Historical Society Museum has been in operation since 1975.
The museum's original building. It once supplied water to the town in the early 1900s. Courtesy of the Ceredo Historical Society Museum.
The grand opening of the Ceredo Museum, attended by local school children. Courtesy of the Ceredo Historical Society Museum.
A time capsule was buried in the front lawn in July 1976, and is to be opened in 2076. Courtesy of the Ceredo Museum.
The Ceredo Petroglyph is the museum's most famous artifact.
Other items include a large collection of memorabilia from the former C-K High School.
Outside the museum stands a replica cannon honoring a local Civil War regiment, the 5th WV Volunteer Infantry.


The Ceredo Historical Society was established in 1973, with the Ceredo Museum following two years later in 1975. The museum was originally housed in an old waterworks facility that once supplied water for the town. In 1995 the building was demolished and a new museum was constructed on the same spot. During demolition the original well was discovered underneath the building’s foundation. It was filled in with concrete after officials decided attempting to preserve it would be impractical. In the front yard is a replica of a cannon in memory of the 5th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, a local regiment that served in the Civil War.

In 1976 a time capsule was buried in the front yard of the museum in honor of the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. Its contents include photos, documents, and a letter from Mayor Mose A. Napier to the mayor of Ceredo in 2076.  Originally a small monument marked the burial spot, but it was covered by a new sidewalk during construction of the new building in 1995. The capsule is buried “about ten feet from the front porch of the Museum and roughly twenty-five feet from the main sidewalk and about two feet inside the sidewalk going into the Museum.” It is intended to be opened on July 4, 2076.

One significant artifact housed in the museum is the Ceredo Petroglyph. It is a large sandstone rock covered in carvings of various images. It was discovered in the Ohio River on June 25, 1975 during excavation by the Oglebay Norton Coal Company to build a new pier. Several entities sought to acquire custody of the stone, but Mayor Mose A. Napier was able to obtain permission from Governor Arch Moore to have Ceredo be allowed to keep it. The stone is one of 27 known petroglyphs in West Virginia. They are believed to have been carved by the Algonquin tribes around A.D. 1200-1690.

The museum contains many other items pertinent to the Ceredo area. There are many artifacts from the Civil War including cannon balls, documents from the 5th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and a sample of hair allegedly from Abraham Lincoln. There is a library of documents, books, and newspaper clippings about local topics, as well as genealogical records. Additionally there is a small collection of glass products from local companies including Pilgrim; items belonging to Z. D. Ramsdell; memorabilia from C-K High School and Marshall University; various yearbooks; military uniforms; microfilm of the Ceredo Advance newspaper; numerous photo albums and scrapbooks; a collection of handwritten journals by Ed Adkins detailing the history of the Tri-State area; and an “N” gauge model railroad layout of Ceredo and Kenova. The museum is open on Tuesdays and Fridays and admission is free.


  • Ceredo Historical Society. Ceredo Museum. Ceredo, WV.
  • Collins, Paul. "The Rock Gets Home." The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, West Virginia), 1975.
  • Maslowski, Robert F. "Petroglyphs." E-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. October 22, 2010. Accessed January 5, 2017.
  • Napier, Mose A. Ceredo: Its Founders & Families. Ceredo, WV: The Phoenix Systems, Ltd., 1989.
  • Napier, Mose A., and Charles Bash, eds. Ceredo's Golden Years: 1970-2000. 2001.
  • Shelton, Charlie. "Ceredo history built upon an ancient rock." The Wayne County News (Wayne, West Virginia), November 9, 2005.

601 Main Street
Ceredo, West Virginia 25507
Phone Number
Tuesdays & Fridays 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Military History
  • Local History Societies and Museums
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This location was created on 2014-03-18 by Kaleb Frye .   It was last updated on 2018-01-01 by Steven Cody Straley .

This entry has been viewed 2037 times within the past year


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