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Location DB > United States > West Virginia > Point Pleasant > West Virginia Ordnance Works
West Virginia Ordnance Works
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 Database Info
created by whistlebait on 1/2/2007 1:32 AM
last modified by Oherian on 11/29/2009 2:35 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
Large concrete columns and buildings and likewise large igloo-like structures.
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Moderate
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information

Point Pleasant, West Virginia
United States
Owner: US Department Of Defense
  • water
  •  Interesting Features
    strange canisters, beautiful swamp area.
     Security Measures
  • part-time guard
  • difficult to find
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1942
    Closed: 1960
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • long pants / sleeves
  • hicking boots, camera
  •  Recommended Equipment

    Opened in 1942 to creat dynamite, this plant is where the first "mothman" sightings occured. Although believed by local residents to be open until as late as the 1960's conducting biological experiements, thus creating the "mothman", as my interviews suggested, the plant only manufactured TNT on official record and is often dubbed the "TNT Area" IT was officially closed due to lack of need and asbestoes anywhere between 1945 (the most likely date) and 1960. It consists of largely unimaginative and uninteresting large concrete columns anymore boarding a local state park and dog training facility (probably the only hazard in this area) There is a shooting range, about a mile or more outside the area, well out of range. The most interesting feature of the facitlity is the large "igloo" like stuctures used to store the munitions not to far from the plant in the swamp parts of the area a little ways down the road from the park. It is not difficult to access, but they are difficult to find. When you do find them, you will still see mystery canisters sitting inside them. What did they hold? Munitions of some sort I suppose.
     Media Coverage
    "The Defense National Stockpile is managed by the U.S. Department of Defense, with day-to-day operations being guided by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). In 1998, the DLA sold 12,183 tons of pig tin from the stockpile. Of this total, 10,313 tons represented long-term sales contracts to RMT Corp. and Considar, Inc. (both of New York, NY). The DLA continued its monthly spot tin sales program under the same format as in recent years, with sales being held on the first Wednesday. The following depots held the largest inventories of tin, in descending order: Hammond, IN; Anniston, AL; Point Pleasant, WV; and Baton Rouge, LA. At 1998 yearend, 83,607 tons of tin remained in the NDS. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) 1999 tin sales program emphasized its long-term activity and had only a modest spot sales effort. DLA allocated 2,000 tons of tin to sell on the spot market at monthly sales. Two long-term sales were again conducted, one in the spring, another in the fall. DLA announced that its Annual Materials Plan for fiscal year 1999 called for sales of up to 12,000 tons of stockpile tin. Stockpile tin is warehoused at six depots, with the largest holdings at Hammond, IN, and Baton Rouge, LA. The Stockton, CA, depot was closed.

    The former West Virginia Ordnance Works (WVOW) was an explosives manufacturing facility constructed for the sole purpose of producing 720,000 tons of TNT per day. It was constructed on 8,323 acres. The site is located on the east bank of the Ohio River, along State Route 62, 6 miles north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. From 1942 to 1945, the e West Virginia Ordnance Works (WVOW) manufactured explosives for use in munitions and explosives for the war effort. Although owned by DoD, WVOW was operated by a private company to produce TNT. When it closed in 1945, WVOW was declared surplus, and the structures were salvaged or disposed. The former West Virginia Ordnance Works is on the National Priorities List and work is being done there by the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The former WVOW consisted of TNT manufacturing facilities, associated acid storage and concentrating facilities, administration and housing areas, repair shops, two well water fields, an Ohio River dock site, power plants, magazine area and rail yards. The TNT was stored in concrete bunkers, or igloos, built above the ground. They are dome-shaped concrete structures, covered with a foot or more of earth and spaced in a grid pattern to reduce the chances of all igloos being destroyed in a chain reaction.

    Construction of the plant began in March of 1942, on a war-time footing, utilizing expensive shortcut methods. All construction was supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District. WVOW was completed in September 1943. On 15 August 1945, WVOW was ordered to cease production, as were all ammunition plants, and on 4 December 1945 it was declared surplus to the needs of the War Department and custodial functions were transferred to the Corps of Engineers. On 16 April 1946, WVOW was declared surplus to government needs, with accountability turned over to the War Assets Administration for disposal on 2 October 1946. By November of 1949 all of the plumbing and process equipment associated with the TNT manufacturing area had been removed except for the contaminated sewer lines running to the Red and Yellow Water Lines. The Burning Grounds Area and Red and Yellow Water Reservoirs were fenced off and posted. The sewers were blocked off and abandoned in place, as they were not considered a hazard. The Magazine Area became the site of sporadic explosives operations after this area was sold to private parties. Since the ammunition magazines remained intact, they proved useful warehouses for explosives in the possession of private citizens and businesses. Also, there is some evidence that small scale TNT re-melt operations were conducted by private explosives manufacturing concerns during the 1960s."
     Future Plans
    No Future plans as of yet.

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     Photo Galleries
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    Munitons Plant I
    Tue, Jan 2nd, 2007
    posted by whistlebait
    8 pictures

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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Opheliaism on 11/29/2009 7:16 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Nov 29 09 at 7:16, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Nov 29 09 at 2:35, Oherian changed the following: Display Name
  • on Feb 18 08 at 23:43, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Feb 18 08 at 23:42, Emperor Wang changed the following: Display Name
  • on Jan 4 07 at 6:50, Emperor Wang deleted picture 217125 from gallery Munitons Plant I
  • on Jan 3 07 at 0:39, whistlebait changed the following: Display Name
  • on Jan 2 07 at 9:24, thoughtcriminal changed the following: Province / State (please use full name)
  • on Jan 2 07 at 3:21, whistlebait made this location public
  • on Jan 2 07 at 3:21, whistlebait made this location private
  • on Jan 2 07 at 3:20, whistlebait changed the following: Owner
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