The mysterious Ferguson Rock of Beckley will now be getting two historical markers commemorating its historical significance.
Tom Sopher, president of the Raleigh County Historical Society, said during the recent Beckley Common Council meeting that the historical marker dedication ceremony will take place at the Wildwood House Museum on Sunday, June 27, at 2 p.m.
The exact origins of the Ferguson Rock are unknown, but local legend has it that the rock was carved in 1814 by a fur-trapper named S. Ferguson.
An article written by Sopher and Merle T. Cole in the Winter 2020 edition of Goldenseal states that Ferguson had “rode all day on the long-disappeared Old Bluestone Road.” He had stopped at Piney Creek near the current sewage treatment plant when he was attacked by a bear or panther. Before his death, he was able to carve his epitaph into the rock.
Another tale states that the rock was carved to mark Ferguson’s campsite along Piney Creek.
Although the exact origin of the Ferguson Rock is unknown, it is heralded as one of Beckley’s oldest relics. The rock was relocated to the Wildwood House Museum in 2017.
In addition to the marker dedication, a History Alive! program featuring Travis Henline of Wheeling as Francis Pierpont the “Father of West Virginia” will take place.
This event is free to the public. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at the Pemberton Coal Town Church located at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.
Wildwood House Museum is located along South Kanawha Street in Beckley.