Van Camp, WV


Van Camp ME ChurchVan Camp was a little community located about 3 miles from New Martinsville on Route 180 going towards Middlebourne. On Nov. 1, 1879, John M. Van Camp and his wife, Margaret A., made a deed to the Trustees of the Van Camp Methodist Episcopal Church for $1.00 for a place of worship. The first Trustees were John M. Van Camp, Melvin Van Camp, John H. Evans and Nelson Martin.

The cemetery was established before the church, having burials made in the 1850's. The earliest burial with a marker is Modie Meredith, born and died in 1851.

It is not know when the services were stopped, probably in the 1940's. The church was sold and torn down in 1975.

On July 28, 2001 Dr. Jack Furbee unveiled a Historical Marker honoring the town of Van Camp. This was a project that was two years in the making. Barbara Minor of the Wetzel Chronicle was present and wrote an article (below) in the Wednesday, August 1, 2001 edition of the paper.

There were many family members along with others on hand for the dedication. Later, Dr. Jack Furbee and Beecher Rhoades led them up the hill to visit the Van Camp cemetery and view the graves of John M. Van Camp who was a Civil War Veteran and his wife Margaret A. Van Camp.

Stuart G. Steingraber of Anaheim, CA sent us his "descendants of Steven Van Camp".

Grandson's Dedication Honors Ancestral Home

by Barbara Minor

A project two years in the making came to fruition Saturday as Van Camp descendants met to dedicate a roadside marker.

Located on W. Va. 180 between the two entrances to Paden Fork, the sign commemorates the Van Camp families who made their homes in the area in the late 1700's until the early 1900's. Beecher Rhoades of Camden, W. Va. and Dr. Jack Furbee of Milford, Ohio, great grandsons of John Marshall Van Camp, welcomed spectators and family members to the roadside dedication.

"My sister, Joanne, and I grew up here. Our mother attended the Van Camp school," Furbee said. "his was a teaming little community."

The area, approximately 1,000 acres, was purchased by John Squire Van Camp in 1837, according to the Van Camp-Martin history published in the "History of Wetzel County, W.Va.1983". The acreage soon took the name of the owner, becoming known as Van Camp and soon housed a church, school, post office and general store.

John Marshall Van Camp, the son of John Squire and grandfather to Furbee and Rhoades, married Mary Belle Martin on Dec. 16, 1861. Then on Aug. 15, 1862, John Marshall enlisted in the Union Army for service in the Civil War. Stationed at Parkersburg, Cumberland and Petersburg, John Marshall Van Camp served in the engineering corps of the Army until being wounded in 1865.

Mary Belle died in childbirth eight years later, leaving John Marshall a widower and the supporter of four children. John Marshall later married Margaret Ann Martin (Mary Belle's sister) and fathered nine more children. John Marshall is buried in the Van Camp Cemetery, just 25 yards from the sign marking the area.

"We've got some heroes buried in that cemetery up there," Rhoades said. "My great grandfather, Bradford Long, who served in the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War is buried there, along with my great grandfather, John Marshall.

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