Welton Park

Welton Park (HM13TS)

Location: Petersburg, WV 26847 Grant County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 0.084', W 79° 5.088'

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The Petersburg Gap is a natural wonder exposing Helderberg limestone and Oriskany sandstone cliffs towering more than 800 feet above the South Branch of the Potomac River. The renowned writer and artist, David Hunter Strother whose pen name was Porte Crayon, first visited the gap in 1851. He was the first person to describe the image of a fox and the face of an ox on the rocks to the readers of Harper's Monthly magazine.

During the Civil War, Federal troops commanded by Colonel James A Mulligan were stationed in an earthen fortification of the western edge of Petersburg. Local sympathies were divided. Moorefield was the headquarters of a Confederate Partisan unit known as McNeill's Rangers. The Rangers raided and harassed Union troops throughout the South Branch Valley.

In September of 1863, a skirmish at Petersburg Gap was reported by Pvt. William B. Hill of the 18th Virginia Confederate Cavalry. General Imboden, C.S.A., was encamped on the South Fork while Union Major Stephens commanded a detachment of the 1st West Virginia infantry at Moorefield. Colonel Mulligan's Federal "Irish Brigade" was at Petersburg. Confederate Captain A.S. Scott and his company were ordered to the mountain east of Petersburg and south of the Petersburg Gap above the high cliffs. Captain Scott ordered Private Hill to climb a tree above the high rocks and report any troop movement from Mulligan's 23rd Illinois. Shortly thereafter, Hill reported to his captain that Mulligan's Cavalry was headed for the gap with infantry and artillery not far behind. The Confederates fired on the Federals from the rocks and Mulligan's forces retreated to Petersburg failing to reinforce the 1st West Virginia at Moorefield.

In 1866, a year after the War, Grant County was removed from Hardy County. The new County was named for Ulysses Simpson Grant, victorious Union General who later became the 18th President of the United States. The Petersburg Gap is the dividing line between Grant and Hardy Counties.

The Gap became a popular site for reunions, band concerts, horseback riding tournaments, fishing and camping. It became known as the Fox and Ox Campground, taking its name from the images of a fox and ox on the cliff face.

After the devastating flood of 1985, the Vernon W. Welton family donated the campgrounds to the Grant County Parks and Recreation Commission to be used as a park. The park was designed and constructed under the supervision of Lewis G. Alt, Director of the Grant County Parks and recreation.
HM NumberHM13TS
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 6:35am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 665843 N 4318676
Decimal Degrees39.00140000, -79.08480000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 0.084', W 79° 5.088'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 0' 5.04" N, 79° 5' 5.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2099 Petersburg Gap Hwy, Petersburg WV 26847, US
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