New Marker Will Soon Tell Story of Alderson Lion

ALDERSON, W.Va (WOAY) – On Thursday, there will be a ceremony in Alderson to reveal the new marker for the lion statue in front of the Alderson Visitors Center.

The marker will tell the story of the Alderson Lion, French. In the 1890s, an Alderson woman rescued and raised a lion cub from the circus. The people in town did not like it when the lion would roam free even sending a salesperson into the river to get away from it. Because of this, Alderson became the first U.S. town to pass a lion leash law and it is still on the books. The lion has been a town symbol ever since. 

“It’s just a fun thing that everybody talks about our lion,” Alderson Main St. President Judy Lohmeyer said. “And you know, we’re all proud of our lion and hope to build him even more. We want him to be as known as our Fourth of July Celebration.” 

The town got the money for the marker from a William G. Pomeroy Foundation grant through the West Virginia Humanities Council. On Thursday at 11 a.m., it will be the first in the state to have its marker installed through their Legends and Lore Grant Marker program. The lion statue has been in front of the center since 2017. 

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.