The Historic Battle of Point Pleasant
Nestled at the joining of the mighty Ohio and the shimmering Kanawha Rivers, the monument of Tu-Endie-Wei stands tall in silent tribute to those who met their fate in the fierce Battle of Point Pleasant. On the day of October 10, 1774, Colonel Andrew Lewis led a battalion of 1,100 Virginia militiamen into a bloody battle against an equally determined force of Native Americans, commanded by the stern Shawnee Chieftain Cornstalk.
A Day of Bloody Conflict
Throughout the grueling day, the air was filled with the deafening roars of conflict and the landscape was transformed into a crimson battlefield. By the time the dust had settled, the toll was heavy on both sides. Two hundred and thirty Native Americans lay dead or wounded, while more than fifty Virginians, including Colonel Charles Lewis, the brother of the commanding officer, had also paid the ultimate price. The brutality of the frontier conflicts would be forever etched into American history.
The Spark that Ignited the American Revolution
Many historians regard this significant battle as a pivotal moment in frontier history, with some even heralding it as the spark that ignited the flames of the American Revolution. The victory shattered the power of the Native Americans in the fertile Ohio Valley, ending the threat of a widespread war on the frontier. It thwarted a potentially game-changing alliance between the British and the Native Americans—an alliance that could have possibly tipped the scales in favor of the British, forever changing the trajectory of the nation’s history.
Aftermath of Battle
The aftermath of the battle brought a tentative peace with the Native Americans, a hiatus that allowed the western Virginians to traverse the steep Allegheny Mountains and lend their support to the Revolutionary forces. Today, the Battle of Point Pleasant is acknowledged as a decisive turning point in the sequence of wars against the Native Americans.
Etched in the sturdy stone of the monument is its name, “Tu-Endie-Wei”, a Wyandotte word meaning “point between two waters”.
The Mansion House
Twenty-two years following the historic battle, Walter Newman, a master craftsman of his time, settled in the area, and painstakingly constructed a unique log structure, intending it for use as both a cozy homestead and a welcoming tavern. With the warmth of a hearth and the promise of shelter, it offered a resting place to the weary travelers journeying through the wilderness.
The Birth of Handcrafted Architecture in the Kanawha Valley
Constructed in the year of 1796, the “Mansion House” stands as a testament to the handiwork of Walter Newman. The home is notable as being the first hewn log home in the Kanawha Valley. Newman’s skilled hands worked tirelessly to shape each log, resulting in a building of robust character and rustic charm, entirely handcrafted.
Reviving the Past
Over the years, the house saw additions, gradually expanding its quaint footprint. However, in 1901, a collaboration between the Daughters of the American Revolution and the citizens of Mason County saw the beloved structure meticulously restored to its original glory. Great care was taken to honor Newman’s original design, preserving its authenticity and rustic charm.
A Journey Through Early American Life
Today, the Mansion House is more than a preserved building. It’s a journey back in time, adorned with Colonial and Early American furnishings that whisk visitors away to early life in America. The museum is a treasure trove of history, its many rooms brimming with an impressive array of historic artifacts, each with its own tale to tell. Among the many historical treasures on display is a clock, which is believed to be one of the oldest clocks to have journeyed across the Appalachian Mountains. The house also showcases an array of Native American artifacts and items of local historical significance. As an integral part of the scenic Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, the log home-turned-museum opens its doors to history enthusiasts and curious visitors from May through October at no charge.
National Recognition and Ownership
The Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter of the N.S.D.A.R. proudly presides over the Mansion House as its caretakers. The house now also serves as a Chapter House for the organization, standing as a fitting tribute to the rich history of the region. In recognition of its historical importance, the Mansion House was proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
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