POINT PLEASANT — With summer under way and the parks welcoming guests, the Mansion House in Tu-Endie-Wei State Park continues to serve as a home for history. The facility is run by volunteers and managed by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) in conjunction with the State Parks.
The home was originally built in 1796 by Walter Newman on a promise to his wife. She only agreed to come west “if you build me a mansion.” This led to the name of the home: the Mansion House. Newman came west over the Allegheny Mountains and fought in the battle of Point Pleasant, right where the house currently stands. After the conflict, Newman built the home and awaited his wife to join him.
During this waiting period, the home served as a tavern and inn for travelers in the area. While it does not appear large from the outside, it contains a basement, two stories, and an attic. Within its’ walls are contained some of the first items of their kind to come west, and a collection of items significant to local history and the time period. One of the oldest clocks to cross the mountains resides on the mantel in the main sitting room.
A shaw that was in President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train is on display in the upstairs room. Also on display in the house is “Mad” Anne Bailey’s hair, who was known for her erratic behavior during the events of the battle: her husband was killed by natives. General Andrew Lewis’ desk also remains in the Mansion, as do several other items that belonged to the famous general.
Sherry, who preferred not to give her last name, is a volunteer that works at the Mansion House, and does so out of a love for the site and passion for the history.
“I love it here. It’s so peaceful and quiet” explained Sherry. “The history here is amazing, I am still learning.” The Museum is open from Spring until Fall and is primarily staffed by volunteers just like Sherry.
The home built in 1796, was taken possession of by the DAR in 1901, who have worked since then to maintain the home as a historical site and museum. The DAR still owns the home and cares for its operation and preservation. The structure survived the storied flood of 1937 with little damage, while other buildings in the area were destroyed: an indication of the quality of the building.
The Tu-Endie-Wei State Park has several items available for viewing and connects by walking trail down to Riverfront Park: both of which are open from dawn to dusk. To learn more about the park, Mansion House, or other West Virginia State Parks, visit http://www.tu-endie-weistatepark.com/facilities.html.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.