Princeton, WV – The Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce announces the arrival of its 2017 Historical Christmas ornament. This year’s ornament brings the collection of ornaments to 25 annual ornaments in the set. The 2017 ornament is a representation of the Great Seal of Mercer County.
The ornaments are available at the Chamber office, Myra’s Flower Shop on Mercer Street and Summit Community Bank on Stafford Drive in Princeton.
Cost is $20 each. Ornaments may also be ordered by mail for an additional $6 to cover Priority mail.
Contact the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce office for more information at (304) 487-1502.
Background info on Mercer County and the County Seal – Written by Bill Archer
The Virginia General Assembly chartered Mercer County on March 12, 1837, and named it for Continental Army Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, who died due to wounds he received in the Revolutionary War Battle of Princeton, January 2, 1777. Mercer, a veteran of the French & Indian War, had been practicing medicine in Fredericksburg, VA prior to the start of American Revolution. In January 1777, Continental Army troops rallied at news of Mercer’s death and the tide of the war for independence started to turn in favor of the colonials. In 1834, John Trunbull’s iconic painting, “The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton,” reinvigorated national pride in the revolutionary leaders who fought in the war. The General Assembly honored Mercer in 1937 by naming a county in his honor and by naming its county seat, “Princeton,” for the battle where he gave the last full measure of his life for the “righteous cause.”
Mercer County only remained in Virginia for twenty-six years until 55 counties of western Virginia joined the Union as West Virginia, the 35th state on June 20, 1863. By including Mercer and McDowell counties in the new state, the Union had established a foothold in territory located further south than Richmond, VA – the Capitol of the Confederacy during the height of the American Civil War.
The Mercer County Seal is a 20th Century creation that illustrates key components of county history. The Bluestone River featured at the top of the seal was the lifeblood for First Nations people who settled the region prior to the arrival of European settlers. Of course, General Mercer on his horse is featured beneath the Bluestone, a river that was called the “Big Stone River” by indigenous people. The images of a log cabin, cow, coal mine and logging operation counterclockwise, represent various aspects of life in the county.
In 1974, the Mercer County Commission created a “Bicentennial Committee” to plan the county’s participation in the nationwide celebration of the United States Bicentennial in 1976. Along with creating the county seal, the committee established the Mercer County Historical Society. The seal was first used on a commemorative bicentennial coin. The seal was also used on another commemorative coin that celebrated Mercer County’s sesquicentennial in 1987.
In 2016, the Mercer County Commission authorized the creation of the county seal in granite that now flanks the bench in the commission courtroom. The Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the county’s seal as the 2017 Christmas ornament.