Honor Your Father

A young boy knelt in the dust of the Babylonian sun and carved into a clay tablet. He wanted the note to be perfect—perfect for his favorite family figure. He wished his father good health and a long life and smiled as he finished the work.  

The boy did not know he would be remembered for over 4,000 years. The boy named Elmesu and his nameless father continue to have long life in legends as some say they celebrated the first known Father’s Day.

For those looking forward to a weekend of celebrating favorite dads, ancient Babylon might not be accessible on the trip meter.

But, for those wishing to experience the history of a modern holiday and celebrate fathers in fantastic spots, Marion County delivers a weekend treats to dads!

Fairmont Beginnings

While many think of Father’s Day as a chance to relax, grill some burgers and catch some fish, the beginnings of the holiday were not so festive.

Monongah MineaOn December 6, 1907, one of the worst explosions in mining history left the town of Monongah devastated and grieving over the hundreds of men who had perished in the disaster. Many of the men gone had left wives and children, now fatherless, to a harsh new reality.

In Fairmont, a lady named Grace Golden Clayton mourned the death of her own father. She decided to ask her pastor, Dr. Robert Thomas Webb, to hold a service to honor fathers at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, now known as Central United Methodist Church.

They decided to hold the service on July 5th, the closest Sunday to her father’s birthday, and in 1908, Fairmont participated in the first service dedicated to fathers.

National News

The celebration of Father’s Day in Fairmont did not gather much attention, mainly due to the huge Fourth of July holiday held that year and the death of a young girl.  

DoddInstead, a girl named Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington started a day for sermons honoring fathers in 1910, making her the officially recognized founder of Father’s Day.

President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a national proclamation about the day in 1966, making it the third Sunday in June, and in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed this day into law as a national holiday.

Marion Memories

Fathers dayWhile Marion County may not have began the national trend, we still treasure our part in the beginnings of Father’s Day.

This Father’s Day, you can visit the Central United Methodist Church with your family and see where this special holiday began.

See if you can find the plaques at city entrances marking the celebration and take a picture with one or two.

Then, check out our other spots for Father’s Day fun in Marion County!


boatRent a boat at Wood’s Boat House and take the family on a pontoon adventure down the Monongahela River.

Get your game on at Coal Country Golf and let dad steal the show as he scores a hole in one.

Grab your own bikes or rent some at Pricketts Fort for a Rail Trail adventure in family fun!


Travel back in time and head out to Pricketts Fort, where fathers get in half-price on their special day.

Kentucky Rifle FoundationWhile there, check out the Kentucky Rifle Foundation Exhibit on display and let dad prove his frontier finesse as you wander around the wilderness.

Pay your respects to those fathers who lost their lives at the Monongah Mine disaster memorial while remembering the importance of family.


Pack a picnic lunch and head out to Valley Falls State Park to enjoy a day of beautiful views, good food and cuddles with those you love.

Take a stop at any of our Marion County restaurants for a lunch time treat with your favorite eater!


Celebrate a little early by attending the Sagebrush Round-up country music jamboree on Saturday night. 

On June 18th, enjoy Dad stomping his feet and shooting the breeze with friends at the  Bluegrass Feast at Palatine Park!


Grab a line and grab Dad a pole when you head to one of our favorite fishing spots at Curtisville Lake or Guyes Run Fishing Park.

Get a license to catch a trophy catfish or check out the supply of guns, outdoor equipment and fun at Main Street Trader in Mannington.

Rachel Ellis

Rachel Ellis

Whatever you decide to do in Marion County this Father’s Day, make sure to honor Dad and make memories that will last forever!

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