Evidence of ancient mound building civilizations proves that this region along the banks of the Ohio River has been considered prime real estate for a long time. Celeron de Bienville led a military voyage down the Ohio River-known in New France as La Belle Riviere-in 1749, burying lead plates along the way and claiming the land for the king of France. In 1750, the Ohio Company employed frontiersman Christopher Gist to explore the area. But even before Celeron and Gist, hunters and fur trappers penetrated the region. Tensions arose between the Europeans and the native inhabitants, developing into a rash of Indian wars and border rivalries, and producing such legendary figures as Lewis Wetzel, the Indian fighter.
The Ohio River was an early highway to the frontier, bringing settlers from Pennsylvania, New York and the other colonies. Some immigrants came from the tidewater areas of Virginia and Maryland, traveling first up the Potomac River and then over the Alleghenies to the Ohio Valley. French, English, Germans, Moravians and others poured into the area. This book encompasses all aspects of the settlement of the area now known as Pleasants County, including: geographical description, rival discoveries and claims between England and France, first settlers, the Revolution, the Civil War, early industries, schools, newspapers, railroads, the oil boom, religious activities and more.
The book is brimming with names of Pleasants County citizens, and includes 20 pages of biographical information about the oldest families in the area. It also contains a few portraits and photographs of local scenery.
Robert L. Pemberton
(1929), 2008, 5½x8½, paper, index, 304 pp.