The Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) and the RDA are working with Fox Engineering to establish a “Historic District” in the downtown area.  The District would be bounded by Sand Creek and the Ohio River to the south and west and by Sycamore Street and the town limits to the north and east.

Fox Engineering, the HLC and the RDA need your help to complete the work of documenting the history of the area.  Information that is needed includes the history of the buildings that currently exist or previously existed in the area, whom they were constructed by, what they were used for, and who lived in or used the structures.  Pictures depicting the area would be particularly helpful.  If you can provide pictures of buildings, or of early residents, we would like to include them on the website, too.

If you can help in this effort, contact Mark Gorman or contact Fox Engineering at 304-372-3705.


With a population of slightly over 4,000 people, Ravenswood is the largest municipality in Jackson County.  The town was laid out on a tract of land once owned by George Washington.  Colonel William Crawford surveyed the 2,448-acre tract for Washington in 1771. 


The first permanent residents were Lawrence Lane and William Bailey.  They cleared about 40 acres of the tract and settled there in 1810.  Two of Washington’s grandnieces and their husbands had the town laid out in 1835. 


To the left  is a view of downtown Ravenswood, probably in the late 1940s.  The photographer is standing on Walnut looking to the west.  Note the McIntosh Building in the background and the buildings that now house City Hall and Jackson County Insurance Agency.  Below left, you have Walnut Street in 1913.  The Photographer is looking east.


The map below is a portion of an 1877 Atlas of the "Upper Ohio River & Valley"  The atlas was the work of Eli L. Hayes, and it was published by Titus, Simmons & Titus of Philadelphia.



Here is a view of the "1887" school.  The photographer is standing at the intersection of Mulberry and Henrietta Streets, looking east.



A scion of one of Ravenswood’s founding families, Henry Clay Fleming, delivered mail by skiff between Ravenswood and Parkersburg.  From this work he saved money to start a photography business, the first in Ravenswood. 


Mr. Fleming passed away in 1942 (Click Here for a link to his obiturary, scroll halfway down the page), and although apparently a prolific photographer during his 97 years on Earth, his work was lost until 1984.  In 1984, crates of glass plate negatives were found in a barn near Athens, Ohio.  Ultimately, it was determined that the negatives represented a portion of Fleming's work.


The negatives were restored by the Massillon Museum in Massillon, Ohio.  They offer an extraordinary glimpse into the town's past.  The collage below offers some insight into recreational activities for the young men of the era.




Ravenswood’s Children were a popular subject for Mr. Fleming.







Washington Lands’ Museum The Washington Western Lands Park Museum is located in the Power House of the old Army Corps of Engineers Ohio River Locks and Dam #22 (the Riverfront City Park).  Also located on the grounds is the Sayre Log House.  The Sayre Log House dates from the 1870s.  It was donated to the city by the descendents of the original builder and occupants.  It is furnished in a manner fitting to the period between 1870 to 1900.

The museum and the log house are operated by the Jackson County Historical Society and they are open from 1-5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, May through October.  For more information, contact Society Museum members Bill Mullins at 304-273-4128 or Bob Staats at 304-532-6836.


Click Here for a list of resources for historical information available in the State Archives.


For information available at the local libraries, Click Here.


Click Here for “The Political Graveyard” and a wealth of links.


Click these links for some information about the Ravenswood Glass Novelty Company, the Marbles they produced and the Ravenswood Porcelain Company.


Civil War History:

          Morgan’s Raid

          Naval Engagement at Buffington Island

          History of Buffington Island


The Blue & Gray Trail Project:
A grass roots effort, the project is dedicated to documenting and promoting the Civil War history of the region and developing tourism related to those efforts.  The group is focusing its efforts on the communities along State Highway 33.  To learn more about the effort, Click Here


Can you believe it, Earthquakes in Ravenswood?  It has happened before, Click Here to learn more.

Do you have something to share?  Contact the Ravenswood Development Authority if you have photographs of the town or early families, historical documents, maps, or other items that you believe have a historical significance.


Click Here to Go Back


Phone: 1-304-273-2621
Fax: 1-304-273-2603
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m