River Museum to host author

Beth Sergent

October 23, 2013

POINT PLEASANT — An author whose latest book focuses on life along the Kanawha River will be making an appearance at the Point Pleasant River Museum.

Author Joseph Phillips, author of “Along the Kanawha River” will have a book signing from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the river museum.

The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by, according to Arcadia Publishing which published last year’s “The Silver Bridge Disaster of 1967” which featured Martha and Ruth Fout of the river museum as co-authors.

The Kanawha River is a prominent natural feature running through West Virginia’s Putnam County. Beginning in the 19th century, small, permanent towns began to appear along the river’s banks. The waterway served as a vital mode of transportation for these burgeoning communities.

Buffalo has a rich agricultural history and a historic town center with several buildings in the National Register of Historic Places. Eleanor was one of three New Deal settlements established by Eleanor Roosevelt. Winfield, the county seat, was named after Gen. Winfield Scott. Nitro was seemingly built overnight as a United States ammunition facility during World War I.

While each town has its own identity, it shares a common link—the Kanawha River. “Along the Kanawha River” chronicles Civil War–era residents, floods in the early 1900s and economic hard times in the 1930s. This pictorial history captures the diversity of these communities and the ways in which they flourished along the Kanawha River.

Highlights of Along the Kanawha River include:

A large portion of never before published images in the book came from the Army Corps of Engineers’ archival collection.

Chronicles Nitro’s immense industrial infrastructure from its time as a WWI munitions plant.

Includes images depicting the 1953 robbery of the Buffalo Bank.

The author’s profits from the sale of the book will be donated to funding local projects undertaken by Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail. Their projects include historical preservation efforts and construction endeavors, like the rebuilding of Hometown Park.

The book is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online. It will of course be available during Saturday’s book signing.