Powhatan Point is a village in Belmont County situated along the Ohio River.
York Township was the location of the Battle of Captina in May of 1794 in which 15 men from Bakers Fort were defeated by 30 Shoptaw Indians. Skirmishes among native Indians and settlers were frequent.
Powhatan was named in honor of the famous Indian Chief of Virginia. The area was once the rendezvous point for many Indian tribes. On his trip down the Ohio River in 1770, George Washington mentions communicating with Indian Tribes living along Captina Creek.
The leading village in York Township, Powhatan was surveyed by Dr. DeHass in 1849 and laid out by Franklin Knox, however the first building, a store, was built in 1825. The first hotel was a log house built in 1825 and known as the “Point House”. The village was incorporated in 1890 and in 1902 it had a population of 600.
The “point” is the confluence of Captina Creek and the Ohio River. The small but thriving river and farming community served York Township and the rich Captina Valley as a shipping center for its first 75 years. Given impetus by the construction of the Powhatan Enterprise Flouring Mill and Woolen Factory in 1850, local businesses shipped grain, fruit, lumber, cheese, whiskey, livestock, wool, and tobacco to northern and southern ports. There were three boat landings: Boger’s, Hornbrook’s, and Dorsey’s, each equipped with an incline car track from the warehouses to the river’s edge.
With the opening of North American Coal Corporation’s Powhatan No. 1 Mine in 1922, the village became a mining community that continued to rely on the river. It was the longest deep-shaft mine in Ohio and the first to be fully mechanized. A disastrous mine fire took the lives of 66 men on July 5, 1944. It was closed in 1981.