The Wood County Historical and Preservation Society created the Wood County Historic Cemeteries and Preservation Fund at the Foundation in 2006 to ensure that the county's oldest cemeteries, which are the final resting places for some of the area's historic forefathers, will forever be preserved.
The Wood County Historic and Preservation Society believes that many significant early pioneers are buried in four cemeteries: Riverview (or Cook), Holliday, Dils and Tavenner. For the past several decades, the Riverview Cemetery at the end of Juliana Street in Parkersburg has been well cared for by a fund that was set up years ago. However, the others were basically forgotten and in poor condition. Having fallen victim to the ravishes of time and weather, some of the markers had been damaged, lost or become unreadable. Acts of vandalism and an overall lack of maintenance led local historians to become concerned these early gravesites would become overgrown and forgotten.
The Wood county Historic Cemeteries and Preservation Fund will provide ongoing resources to address these issues and will help to make sure that these historic cemeteries are preserved in perpetuity. "We must preserve these sites," said Society spokesperson Bob Enoch. "The stones that mark these graves may be the only thing someone has to tell people they were here, that they existed. They are part of our history."
Tavenner cemetery is located between Hugh and Hamilton Streets, along Camden Avenue in South Parkersburg. Revolutionary war soldier Col. Hugh Phelps is believed to be buried there, along with a number of Civil War soldiers. Holliday Cemetery is located at the corner of Sixth Street and Gale Avenue, east of the Fifth Street bridge in Parkersburg. In earlier times, it was referred to as the "city cemetery." Early records show that there were about 29 Civil War soldiers buried there, including some Confederate soldiers. Holliday cemetery also is the final resting place of Henry Logan's parents; Henry Logan was a well known local philanthropist. The Dils Cemetery is located on East Seventh Street, directly behind the Parkersburg branch of Williamstown National Bank. The cemetery was started in about 1800 and was first used as a private family cemetery but by the 1830s had grown and was being used as a community cemetery.
In recent years, the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society has begun maintaining and restoring the Holliday, Dils, and Tavenner cemeteries. The Wood County Historic Cemeteries and Preservation Fund will provide a long-term source of support for these efforts.