Penitentiary, Warden’s House Join National Register of Historic Places

A plaque recognizing the West Virginia Penitentiary on the National Register of Historic Places was set to be unveiled Wednesday during a ceremony, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MOUNDSVILLE – The former West Virginia Penitentiary, now a tourist attraction and seasonal Halloween haunt, has joined other local places of historic importance with a marker from the National Register of Historic Places.

An unveiling of the marker, originally set for Wednesday, was postponed until it was deemed safe to assemble in the near future. The penitentiary and the warden’s house are both to be demarcated with plaques. The unveiling was to take place at a small event organized by the Moundsville Historic Landmarks Commission.

The submission was made in 1996, according to commission chairperson Carole Wood.

Wood said she was happy to see the submissions go through, which had been a goal of lifetime commission member Hilda Blake, who she said had started the submission process in 1994. Wood said it was satisfying to be able to see Blake’s work finally come to fruition.

“We just wanted to get through things that were on the books and get it completed, and we were happy to do it for her,” Wood said. “It was pleasing for us to be able to get it together for Hilda.”

Wood said U.S. Sen. Shelley Capito, who was to speak at Wednesday’s unveiling, was instrumental in getting the designation pushed through at last.

Wood said she hopes the community will be able to come together in the near future to see the plaques unveiled.


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