MASON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A well-known West Virginia museum is making progress on rebuilding after it burned down more than three years ago. The Point Pleasant River Museum is making a comeback with some new additions.

The Point Pleasant River Museum is the only river museum in the state, and only one of 22 in the nation. It’s also one of six to incorporate a learning center that trains people on inland waterway navigation and radar.  

“The Lakin Ray Cooke learning center that is going to be part of the museum is going to be a huge part of that because it’s a money maker for our operations,” James McCormick, Point Pleasant River Museum Director said.

A fire destroyed the museum back in July 2018. McCormick says it took a long time to raise money to rebuild. Monday, The Claflin Foundation, which only serves Mason County, gave the museum its largest check donation for $61,300.

“We wanted to be a major contributor to the restoration efforts of the river museum. So, it was agreed among the board that we would do this project,” Stephen Littlepage, Claflin Foundation said.

In addition to the new learning center, the river museum will also have an aquarium. It also aims to add classes like historical preservation, museum operations and introduction to river boat operations.

 “I think that telling the history of the waterways and the rivers in particular, not just in West Virginia, but across America and to do it in a way that’s interactive so you get your kids involved with it,” McCormick said.

The new location will be right up the street from the old museum on Main Street. It’s set to open this September.