Wheeling, West Virginia

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Wheeling, West Virginia
Downtown Wheeling, WV From Chapel Hill.jpg
Downtown Wheeling from the Chapel Hill neighborhood
Flag of Wheeling, West Virginia.svg
Wheeling Seal.jpg
The Friendly City
Marshall County West Virginia Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Wheeling Highlighted.svg
Location of Wheeling in Ohio and Marshall Counties, West Virginia
Coordinates: 40°4′13″N80°41′55″W / 40.07028°N 80.69861°W / 40.07028; -80.69861 Coordinates: 40°4′13″N80°41′55″W / 40.07028°N 80.69861°W / 40.07028; -80.69861
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of West Virginia.svg  West Virginia
County Ohio,Flag of Marshall County, West Virginia.svg Marshall
  MayorGlenn Elliott (D) [1]
  City ManagerRobert Herron
  Police ChiefShawn Schwertfeger
  Fire ChiefJim Blazier
   City 16.00 sq mi (41.43 km2)
  Land13.78 sq mi (35.68 km2)
  Water2.22 sq mi (5.76 km2)  13.87%
687–1,300 ft (209–396 m)
 (2020) [3]
   City 27,062
  Density1,700/sq mi (650/km2)
81,249 (US: 353rd)
145,205 (US: 288th)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code 304
FIPS code 54-86452
GNIS feature ID1548994 [4]
Website www.wheelingwv.gov

Wheeling is a city in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located almost entirely in Ohio County, of which it is the county seat, [5] it lies along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and also contains a tiny portion extending into Marshall County. Wheeling is located about 60 miles (96 km) west of Pittsburgh and is the principal city of the Wheeling metropolitan area. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 27,062, and the metro area had a population of 145,205. [3]


Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia, and later the second-largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the American Civil War, Wheeling was the host of the Wheeling Conventions that led to the formation of West Virginia, and it was the first capital of the new state. Due to its location along major transportation routes, including the Ohio River, National Road, and the B&O Railroad, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. After the closing of factories and substantial population loss following World War II, Wheeling's major industries now include healthcare, education, law and legal services, entertainment and tourism, and energy.

From the acceptance of the new state of West Virginia into the union on June 20, 1863, until the Restored Government of Virginia's move to Alexandria in August of the same year, Wheeling was the state capital of both West Virginia and Virginia.


Arrival of early Europeans

The origins of the name "Wheeling" are disputed. One of the more credible explanations is that the word comes from the Lenni-Lenape phrase wih link or wee lunk, which meant "place of the head" or "place of the skull." This name supposedly referred to a white settler who was scalped and decapitated. His severed head was displayed at the confluence of Wheeling Creek and the Ohio River. [6] Native Americans had inhabited the area for thousands of years. In the 17th century, the Iroquois from present-day New York state conquered the upper Ohio Valley, pushing out other tribes and maintaining the area as their hunting ground.

Originally explored by the French, Wheeling still has a lead plate remnant that the explorer Céloron de Blainville buried in 1749 at the mouth of Wheeling Creek to mark his claim. Later, Christopher Gist and George Washington surveyed the land, in 1751 and 1770, respectively. [7]

Establishment of European settlement

During the fall of 1769, Ebenezer Zane explored the Wheeling area and established claim to the land via "tomahawk rights", the practice of girdling a few trees at a prominent site and marking the bark with the initials or name of the person making the claim. He returned the following spring with his wife Elizabeth and his younger brothers, Jonathan and Silas; they established the first permanent European settlement in the Wheeling area, naming it Zanesburg. Other families joined the settlement, including the Shepherds (see Monument Place), the Wetzels, and the McCollochs (see McColloch's Leap).

Panoramic map of Wheeling from Chapline Hill in 1854 with list of sites View of Wheeling (West Virginia). From Chapline Hill (NYPL Hades-118826-54977).tif
Panoramic map of Wheeling from Chapline Hill in 1854 with list of sites

In 1787, the United States gave Virginia this portion of lands west of the Appalachians, and some to Pennsylvania at its western edge, to settle their claims. By the Northwest Ordinance that year, it established the Northwest Territory to cover other lands north of the Ohio River and west to the Mississippi River. Settlers began to move into new areas along the Ohio.

In 1793, Ebenezer Zane divided the town into lots, and Wheeling was officially established as a town in 1795 by legislative enactment. The town was incorporated January 16, 1805. On March 11, 1836, the town of Wheeling was incorporated into the city of Wheeling.

By an act of the Virginia General Assembly on December 27, 1797, Wheeling was named the county seat of Ohio County. [8]

Fort Henry

Originally dubbed Fort Fincastle in 1774, the fort was later renamed Fort Henry in honor of Virginia's American governor, Patrick Henry. In 1777, Native Americans of the Shawnee, Wyandot, and Mingo tribes joined to attack pioneer settlements along the upper Ohio River, which were illegal according to the Crown's Proclamation of 1763. They hoped an alliance with the British would drive the colonial settlers out of their territory.

Local men defended the fort, later joined by recruits from Fort Shepherd (in Elm Grove) and Fort Holliday. The native force burned the surrounding cabins and destroyed livestock.

"McColloch's Leap" McColloch's Leap.jpg
"McColloch's Leap"

During the first attack of the year, Major Samuel McColloch led a small force of men from Fort Vanmetre along Short Creek to assist the besieged Fort Henry. Separated from his men, McColloch was chased by attacking natives. Upon his horse, McColloch charged up Wheeling Hill and made what is known as McColloch's Leap 300 feet (91 m) down its eastern side.

In 1782, a native army along with British soldiers attempted to take Fort Henry. During this siege, Fort Henry's supply of ammunition was exhausted. The defenders decided to dispatch a man to secure more ammunition from the Zane homestead. Betty Zane volunteered for the dangerous task. During her departing run, she was heckled by both native and British soldiers. After reaching the Zane homestead, she gathered a tablecloth and filled it with gunpowder. During her return, she was fired upon but was uninjured. As a result of her heroism, Fort Henry remained in American control. [8]

Role as transportation hub

Wheeling Suspension Bridge Wheeling Suspension Bridge.jpg
Wheeling Suspension Bridge

The National Road arrived in Wheeling in 1818, linking the Ohio River to the Potomac River, and allowing goods from the Ohio Valley to flow through Wheeling and on to points east. As the endpoint of the National Road, Wheeling became a gateway to early westward expansion. In 1849 the Wheeling Suspension Bridge crossed the Ohio River and allowed the city to expand onto Wheeling Island. Lessons learned in constructing the bridge were used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Rail transportation reached Wheeling in 1853 when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad connected Wheeling to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and markets in the Northeast. A new bridge connected the city to Bellaire, Ohio, just across the river, and to western areas of the U.S.

Anti-slavery sentiment

Much of the area had been settled by yeoman farmers, few of whom owned slaves. With the railroad, a larger industrial or mercantile middle class developed that depended on free labor; it felt either disinterest or hostility to slavery. The Wheeling Intelligencer newspaper expressed the area's anti-secession sentiment as tensions rose over slavery and national issues. The city became part of the movement of western areas to secede from Virginia after the beginning of the Civil War, hosting the Wheeling Convention [9] of 1861. It served as the provisional capital of the Restored Government of Virginia from 1861 to 1863, and became the first capital of West Virginia after the state seceded from Virginia and was admitted to the Union in its own right in 1863.

The growing German population, which included immigrants after the 1848 Revolutions, was firmly anti-slavery. The Germans of Wheeling organized the "First West Virginia Artillery" to oppose the Confederacy and played a role in the initial movement to separate from Virginia. [10] The Germans' culture influenced the city, such as their "German Singing Societies", the first of which began in 1855. [11]

Post-Civil War growth

Map of Wheeling in 1920 Wheeling West Virginia 1920 Automobile Blue Book.jpg
Map of Wheeling in 1920

Although Wheeling lost its position as state capital in 1865, it continued to grow. In the late nineteenth century, Wheeling was the new state's prime industrial center. One early nickname (until an 1885 strike) was "Nail City", reflecting the iron manufacture in several mills, which dated from the 1840s. Mills transformed pig iron into sheets that could be cut, and some mills also produced boiler plates, stoves, barrel rings, and/or ornamental ironwork. [12] Noted businesses of the era included the Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company (owned by state senator Jesse A. Bloch, who would in 1913 introduce legislation that became the state's Workmen's Compensation Act), and later steel concerns after development of the Bessemer process. [13] Wheeling Steel Corporation was created in 1920 and grew after a 1927 strike caused J.P. Morgan and other investors to sell National Tube Company, which had been created in 1899, six years after local owners had consolidated five plants in the area as Wheeling Steel & Iron Company. [14]

In 1866, Lincoln School opened in Wheeling to serve African American students. [15] Lincoln High School was taught by Laura Grayson-Morison. [16] A new building for Lincoln High School opened in the early 1940s; [17] the school closed with desegregation in 1954. [15]

Wheeling had considerable associations with the American labor movement. In 1904 it became the first city in the country to refuse a proposed Andrew Carnegie gift of a free library, because of the industrialist's labor record, especially the notorious Homestead Strike of 1892. By contrast, cigar tycoon Augustus Pollack (despite once rousing controversy by a plan to use convict labor) left many bequests to the labor movement, which erected a memorial statue. The city's earliest union was the United Nailers (1860, which later merged into the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers), followed by the cigar makers in 1862. The 1877 railroad strike at Martinsburg, West Virginia, reached Wheeling and spread nationwide. In 1897, Eugene Debs, Mother Jones, and Samuel Gompers were among the speakers at a national labor convention in Wheeling to discuss a nationwide coal strike. [18]

With industry, Wheeling reached its peak of population in 1930. As the city grew, prosperous Wheeling residents built fine houses, especially on Wheeling Island, but slums also expanded. [19] As a result of that growth, an ordinance was passed regulating personal cesspools, including a ban on pipe communications with other homes and businesses unless offensive smells were properly trapped. [20]

Modern decline

The Great Depression, and later changes and restructuring in heavy industry following World War II, led to a loss of working-class jobs and population. Capitalizing on its rich architectural heritage, Wheeling has worked to revive its Main Street.


Wheeling is located at 40°4′13″N80°41′55″W / 40.07028°N 80.69861°W / 40.07028; -80.69861 (40.070348, -80.698604). [21] The city has a total area of 16.01 square miles (41.47 km2), of which 13.79 square miles (35.72 km2) is land and 2.22 square miles (5.75 km2) is water. [22]

Wheeling is located in northern West Virginia, on what is known as the Northern Panhandle. The area lies within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau. [23] The city is directly across the river from the state of Ohio and only 11 miles (18 km) west of Pennsylvania. It is a part of the tri-state area of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, which is commonly referred to as the Ohio River Valley Region or "The Ohio Valley".

Wheeling Creek flows through the city, and meets the Ohio River in downtown Wheeling.

The city is located both on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River, and on an island in the middle of the river called Wheeling Island.


Wheeling lies at the boundary between the humid subtropical and humid continental climate zones (Köppen: [24] Cfa/Dfa, respectively). The annual precipitation is about 41.88 in (1,064 mm) inches, distributed evenly throughout the year.

Climate data for Wheeling, West Virginia (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1881–present)
Record high °F (°C)75
Average high °F (°C)38.7
Daily mean °F (°C)30.2
Average low °F (°C)21.7
Record low °F (°C)−21
Average precipitation inches (mm)3.44
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)15.813.514.014.413.812.711.
Source: NOAA [25] [26]


Historical population
1840 7,885
1850 11,43545.0%
1860 14,08323.2%
1870 19,28036.9%
1880 30,73759.4%
1890 34,52212.3%
1900 38,87812.6%
1910 41,6417.1%
1920 56,20835.0%
1930 61,6599.7%
1940 61,099−0.9%
1950 58,891−3.6%
1960 53,400−9.3%
1970 48,188−9.8%
1980 43,070−10.6%
1990 34,882−19.0%
2000 31,419−9.9%
2010 28,486−9.3%
2020 27,062−5.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [27]

2010 census

As of the census [3] of 2010, there were 28,486 people, 12,816 households, and 6,949 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,065.7 inhabitants per square mile (797.6/km2). There were 14,661 housing units, at an average density of 1,063.2 per square mile (410.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.2% White, 5.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 12,816 households, of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.8% were non-families. 40.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.84.

The median age in the city was 45.2 years. 18.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.8% were from 25 to 44; 29.8% were from 45 to 64; and 20.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, 31,419 people, 13,719 households, and 7,806 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,258.4 people per square mile (872.1/km2). 15,706 housing units were present, at an average density of 1,128.9 per square mile (436.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.72% White, 4.99% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.91% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 0.58% of the population.

There were 13,719 households, of which 23.4% included children under the age of 18, 41.8% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.1% were non-families. 38.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.6% had someone living alone who was at least 65 years of age. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.89.

The median age was 42 years. 20.6% of residents were under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% at least 65 years old. For every 100 females 84.1 males were present, and for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.6 males.

The median household income was $27,388, and the median family income was $38,708. Males had a median income of $30,750 versus $22,099 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,923. About 13.1% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.3% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those at least 65 years old.


Under West Virginia law, cities may adopt a form of government called the Manager-Mayor Plan, under which Wheeling operates. The elected mayor presides over meetings of the Wheeling City Council, which has six members elected from geographic wards. City Council members serve four-year terms. The City Council also confirms executive nominations for members to various boards, which have limited regulatory authority, including the Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Traffic Commission. [28] The City Manager serves as Chief Executive and Administrative Officer for the city. [29]

The current mayor of Wheeling is Glenn Elliott, and the current city manager is Robert Herron. The current members of the City Council are Vice-Mayor Chad Thalman (1st Ward), Ben Seidler (2nd Ward), Rosemary Ketchum (3rd Ward), Jerry Sklavounakis (4th Ward), Ty Thorngate (5th Ward), and Dave Palmer (6th Ward). [28] City elections were held on June 9, 2020, and the current term began on July 1, 2020. City elections will be held again on May 14, 2024.

List of mayors of Wheeling, West Virginia
NamePortraitTerm startTerm end
George Miller [30] 18061807
Moses Chapline [30] 18071809
William Irwin [30] 18091810
Noah Linsly [30] 18101814
William Irwin [31] March 1814September 1814
George Knox [31] 18151816
William Irwin [31] 18161817
Peter Yarnall [31] 18171819
Moses Chapline [31] 18191824
Z. Jacobs [31] 18241828
Samuel Sprigg [31] March 1828September 1828
John McLure [31] September 1828March 1830
Moses W. Chapline [31] 18301834
Z. Jacobs [31] 18341836
Moses W. Chapline [32] [33] May 1836January 1840
George Dulty [32] January 1840January 1846
Moses C. GoodJanuary 1846January 1847
William W. ShriverJanuary 1847June 1848
Sobieski Brady [34] June 1848January 1850
Alfred Caldwell [35] January 1850January 1852
Morgan NelsonJanuary 1852January 1853
Sobieski BradyJanuary 1853January 1855
James PaullJanuary 1855January 1856
Alfred CaldwellJanuary 1856January 1858
James TannerJanuary 1858January 1859
Andrew WilsonJanuary 1859January 1861
Andrew J .Sweeney [36] January 1861January 1863
George BairdJanuary 1863January 1864
Henry CrangleJanuary 1864January 1865
Andrew J. SweeneyJanuary 1865January 1868
Sobieski BradyJanuary 1868January 1869
Samuel McClellan, Jr.January 1869January 1871
George W. JeffersJanuary 1871January 1875
Andrew J. SweeneyJanuary 1875January 1881
Alfred EgerterJanuary 1881January 1883
Jeremiah A. MillerJanuary 1883January 1885
Jacob W. Grubb [34] January 1885January 1887
Charles W. SeabrightJanuary 1887January 1893
Benjamin F. CaldwellJanuary 1893January 1897
John R. ButtsJanuary 1897January 1899
Andrew T. SweeneyJanuary 18991905 [37]
Charles C. Schmidt [37] [35] Charles C. Schmidt portrait in Ohio County Public Library, Wheeling, West Virginia.png 1905August 1912 (died in office)
William O. Alexander (acting mayor) [37] August 19121912
Harvey L. Kirk [37] [35] October 19121917
Clifford M. Vester [37] 19171918
Thomas F. Thoner [37] 19191925
William J. Steen [37] 19251928
Thomas Y. Beckett [37] 19291932
Gordon P. Fought [37] 19321934
Charles F. Schultze [37] May 1935 (died in office)1938
John J. Mathison [37] May 19381943
Russell S. Goodwin [37] 19431947
Carl G. Bachmann [37] 19471951
Charles J. Schuck [37] 19511955
Jack R. Adams [37] 19551959
John J. Gast [37] 19591963
Charles L. Ihlenfeld [36] 19641967
James L. Rogers [37] 19671971
James J. Haranzo [37] 19711975
John E. Fahey [37] 19751979
Cuyler E. Ewing [37] 19791981
William H. Muegge [37] 19811984
John W. Lipphardt [37] 19841985
Stella C. Koerner [37] 19851988
Thomas J. Baller [37] 19881992
John W. Lipphardt [37] 19922000
Nicholas A. Sparachane [38] 20002008 [39]
Andy McKenzie [40] 20082016
Glenn Elliott [41] 2016

City flag

The current flag for the city was adopted on September 4, 2018, in conjunction with the celebration of the city's 250th anniversary the following year. [42] Its design and symbolism are credited to the Wheeling Committee on Retention and the Wheeling 250 subcommittee.

City of Wheeling flag as of September 2018 Flag of Wheeling, West Virginia.svg
City of Wheeling flag as of September 2018

The flag features two horizontal blue bars to represent Wheeling Creek and the Ohio River, with a white bar in between. The three bars also symbolize the three major modes of transportation found in Wheeling history: river, road, and rail. Representing five distinct eras of Wheeling history, five stars are centered in a row in the white bar: The Indigenous Star, The Frontier Star, The Transportation Star, The Statehood Star, and The Industrial Star. [43]


West Virginia Independence Hall West Virginia Independence Hall from southwest.jpg
West Virginia Independence Hall

Historical buildings

The city of Wheeling has a rich and varied history. West Virginia Independence Hall was the site of the Wheeling Convention, two meetings held in 1861 that ultimately reversed Virginia's Ordinance of Secession. 26 counties in Virginia's north and west voted against secession from the Union and created the new state of West Virginia, which the United States quickly admitted. Later in 1861 and continuing to 1863, the building was the site of many heated debates during the First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia, [44] including the name of the new state. [45] The oldest building in the area is Shepherd Hall (Monument Place), built in 1798. [46]

Wheeling is home to Centre Market, formerly Wheeling's market house. Built in 1853, [47] the market house and the surrounding area have been adapted for use as retail shops and restaurants.

The first official memorial monument in the state of West Virginia, dedicated specifically to men killed in the Vietnam War, was dedicated in Wheeling, with full military honors, in a Memorial Day 1986 ceremony. The monument was erected in front of the flagpole near the main shelter of Bethlehem Community Park in the village of Bethlehem, just southeast of Wheeling. The roughly 6-foot-high granite memorial consists of a large bronze dedication plaque with the names of KIAs from the Wheeling/Ohio County region. Below the dedication plaque is a bronze map of South Vietnam, complete with names of 28 major cities.

Parks and recreation

Wheeling features several municipal parks, including Oglebay Resort & Conference Center and Wheeling Park. Ohio County has six golf courses, including designs by renowned golfer Arnold Palmer and architect Robert Trent Jones.

In October 2007 the City of Wheeling opened the state's first concrete skateboard park. The 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) facility was designed and built by world-renowned skatepark builder Grindline, of Seattle, Washington. The park consists of 60% bowls and 40% street elements; it is located within the Chambers Ballfield Complex in the Elm Grove section of the city. An addition to the street section of the park was completed by Grindline in November 2009. A covered shelter, restrooms, and webcam are installed. The park is lighted and open 24/7.


Primary and secondary

As elsewhere in West Virginia, K–12 schools are organized at the county level of government. The public school system, Ohio County Schools, consists of 14 schools: nine elementary schools; four middle schools, which include Triadelphia Middle, nominated for the blue ribbon school award; and the nationally recognized Wheeling Park High School. Several parochial and private schools, including Wheeling Central Catholic High School and the Linsly School, are located in the city.


Wheeling is the hub of higher education in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Wheeling University, a private university and the only Catholic college in the state of West Virginia, is located here. [48]

The main campus of West Virginia Northern Community College has recently been expanding with centers in downtown Wheeling; it focuses on job training and community development. Also located in close proximity to the city are West Liberty University (formerly West Liberty State College), a four-year university, and private Bethany College, giving area residents a wide variety of educational options.



Wheeling has a long tradition of live musical performance and radio broadcasting. With over 2,500 seats, The Capitol Theatre is the largest theatre in West Virginia. Opened in 1928, The Capitol was home to It's Wheeling Steel, a popular radio program in the early 1940s featuring musical performances by workers at a local steel plant. The Capitol has welcomed musical performances of all types, from Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Tammy Wynette, to Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, and Black Sabbath. Other past performers include Jerry Seinfeld, David Copperfield, and George Carlin.

Capitol Theatre Capitol Theatre Wheeling sm.jpg
Capitol Theatre

The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is housed at the Capitol Theatre and performs a range of contemporary, classical, and seasonal arrangements.

Wheeling is also home to the Victoria Theater, the oldest theater in West Virginia. The 700-seat Victorian-style theater was home to the WWVA Jamboree program from 1933–1936. More recently, it has been the site for the "Wheeling Jamboree", a local initiative started in 2009 and modeled after the original WWVA Jamboree (which changed its name in the 1960s to Jamboree U.S.A.). The original WWVA Jamboree ran from 1933–2007, making it the second-longest-running country radio program and variety show in the country, after the "Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville, Tennessee.

Live music emanates from the amphitheatre at the Wheeling Heritage Port several nights per week from mid-spring through late fall. The waterfront park area hosts festivals, concerts, movie nights, celebrations, a regatta, and numerous visits from the Delta, Mississippi and American Queen riverboats. The Port holds over 8,000 spectators and has become a city focal point.

Formerly held in nearby Belmont County, Ohio, Jamboree In The Hills draws over 100,000 country music fans to the Wheeling area every July.


Fans of theater have several options in Wheeling. The Capitol Theatre hosts numerous touring musical performances. The Oglebay Institute's Towngate Theatre in Center Wheeling has produced plays for over 35 years. [49]


Wheeling, known as Nail City, is home to the Wheeling Nailers hockey team. The Nailers play in the WesBanco Arena (formerly the Wheeling Civic Center), and are part of the Central division of the Western Conference of the ECHL. Formerly home to the Ohio Valley Greyhounds, Wheeling became home to a second team in 2009. [50] The team, known as the Wheeling Wildcats, played in the Continental Indoor Football League but folded after the 2009 season. [51] High school football and soccer are played at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Wheeling is also home of the Mountain East Conference basketball championship tournament, an NCAA Division II conference that launched in the 2013–14 school year. Wheeling University and West Liberty are both charter members of the new conference, an offshoot of the now-disbanded West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Live racing and gaming

Wheeling is the home of Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, located on Wheeling Island. Formerly known as Wheeling Downs, the facility features live greyhound racing, slots, poker games, and casino-style table games.

In accordance with House Bill 271, [52] adopted on March 8, 2007, Ohio County and Jefferson County held special elections on June 9, 2007, to approve the legalization of table games within the respective counties. The Ohio County measure passed, but the Jefferson County one failed. A similar measure was successfully adopted in Hancock County on June 30, 2007. [53]


Located close to Pittsburgh, Wheeling is heavily influenced by its broadcast media outlets, which are easily received in the area. Besides broadcast stations, Wheeling's cable providers carry AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh-centric news/talk channel PCNC as its "home" sports and information sources.

In addition to the Pittsburgh outlets, the Wheeling television market is served by ABC/CBS affiliate WTRF-TV Channel 7, PBS affiliate W30CO-D Channel 30, and NBC/FOX affiliate WTOV-TV Channel 9 in nearby Steubenville, Ohio. Cable television provider Comcast serves the city, parts of which Centre TV also services.

Wheeling is home to WWVA 1170 AM, the state's only 50,000-watt AM station, which can be heard throughout the East Coast at night. WVLY 1370 AM and WKKX 1600 AM provide local news, sports, and talk. On the FM dial, WVKF 95.7, WKWK 97.3, WOVK 98.7, and WEGW 107.5 provide the area with various music genres. The Wheeling area is the home of WDUQ-LP, a listener-supported commercial-free station, which also serves as the local Pacifica affiliate. Pittsburgh's radio stations provide Wheeling with coverage. Several translators and repeater stations provide NPR and American Family Radio networks. Wheeling also has a student-run radio station, WPHP 91.9, operated by Wheeling Park High School students. WPHP plays top 40 songs and also covers all of the Wheeling Park Patriots' football and basketball games.

The city is home to The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register newspapers, owned by Wheeling-based Ogden Newspapers Inc. The Intelligencer is published weekday mornings and Saturdays, while the News-Register is published weekday afternoons and Sundays. The Times-Leader of Martins Ferry, Ohio, another Ogden Newspapers Inc. paper, also covers Wheeling issues. In Wheeling magazine is published quarterly and covers society and events in the city. [54] Two local websites, Weelunk and Dateline: Wheeling, serve as independent news sources for the city. [55] [56]


The Fort Henry Bridge carries I-70, US 40, and US 250 across the Ohio River in Wheeling. Fort Henry Bridge looking towards Ohio, in Wheeling, West Virginia - 20040706.jpg
The Fort Henry Bridge carries I-70, US 40, and US 250 across the Ohio River in Wheeling.

Roads and bridges

Interstate 70 and its spur Interstate 470 run through the city east-west and link it with suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the east and Ohio to the west. U.S. Route 40/National Road links downtown with residential neighborhoods to the east. West Virginia Route 2 connects Wheeling with Moundsville to the south and Weirton to the north. U.S. Route 250 also runs through the city.

The Fort Henry Bridge and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge carry I-70 and I-470, respectively, over the Ohio River. The historic Wheeling Suspension Bridge, completed in 1849, which was part of National Road, connects downtown and Wheeling Island; currently it is closed for safety reasons, by order of the state highway department, to vehicular traffic. I-70 passes under Wheeling Hill through the Wheeling Tunnel.

Bus transportation

Bus transportation to points throughout North America is available from Wheeling through Greyhound Lines. The bus terminal, the Robert C. Byrd Intermodal Transportation Center, was built with $11.1 million in federal funds. [57]

The East Ohio Authority and the Ohio Valley Regional Transit Authority (OVRTA), which share the Intermodal Transportation Center as the hub for hub-and-spoke routes, provide regional transportation through West Virginia and Eastern Ohio. [58]

Wheeling operated streetcars from the 1880s until 1943 under the Wheeling Traction Company and Co-operative Transit Company. Buses replaced streetcar operations due to operating costs. [59]

Air transportation

The city is served by the Wheeling Ohio County Airport for general aviation and by Pittsburgh International Airport for passenger service.


The following neighborhoods lie within the city limits: [60]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ohio River</span> Major river in the midwestern United States

The Ohio River is a 981-mile (1,579 km) long river in the United States. It is located at the boundary of the Midwestern and Southern United States, flowing southwesterly from western Pennsylvania to its mouth on the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Illinois. It is the third largest river by discharge volume in the United States and the largest tributary by volume of the north-south flowing Mississippi River that divides the eastern from western United States. It is also the 6th oldest river on the North American continent. The river flows through or along the border of six states, and its drainage basin includes parts of 14 states. Through its largest tributary, the Tennessee River, the basin includes several states of the southeastern U.S. It is the source of drinking water for five million people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charleston, West Virginia</span> Capital city of West Virginia, U.S.

Charleston is the capital and most populous city of West Virginia. Located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers, the city had a population of 48,864 at the 2020 census and an estimated population of 48,018 in 2021. The Charleston metropolitan area as a whole had an estimated 255,020 residents in 2021. Charleston is the center of government, commerce, and industry for Kanawha County, of which it is the county seat.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ohio County, West Virginia</span> County in West Virginia, United States

Ohio County is a county located in the Northern Panhandle of the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 42,425. Its county seat is Wheeling. The county was formed in 1776 from the District of West Augusta, Virginia. It was named for the Ohio River, which forms its western boundary with the state of Ohio. West Liberty was designated as the county seat in 1777, serving to 1797.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marshall County, West Virginia</span> County in West Virginia, United States

Marshall County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. At the 2020 census, the population was 30,591. Its county seat is Moundsville. With its southern border at what would be a continuation of the Mason-Dixon line to the Ohio River, it forms the base of the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia.

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Scouting in West Virginia has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fort Henry (West Virginia)</span> Military base in Wheeling, West Virginia, USA

Fort Henry was a colonial fort which stood about ¼ mile from the Ohio River in what is now downtown, Wheeling, West Virginia. The fort was originally known as Fort Fincastle and was named for Viscount Fincastle, Lord Dunmore, Royal Governor of Virginia. Later it was renamed for Patrick Henry, and was at the time located in Virginia. The fort was subject to two major sieges, two notable feats and other skirmishes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wheeling Suspension Bridge</span> Bridge in West Virginia, United States

The Wheeling Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the main channel of the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia. It was the largest suspension bridge in the world from 1849 until 1851. Charles Ellet Jr. designed it and supervised construction of what became the first bridge to span a major river west of the Appalachian mountains. It linked the eastern and western section of the National Road, and became especially strategically important during the American Civil War. Litigation in the United States Supreme Court concerning its obstruction of the new high steamboat smokestacks eventually cleared the way for other bridges, especially needed by expanding railroads. Because this bridge was designed during the horse-and-buggy era, 2-ton weight limits and vehicle separation requirements applied in later years until it was closed to automobile traffic in September 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">West Virginia Route 88</span> State highway in Marshal, Ohio, and Brooke counties in West Virginia, United States

West Virginia Route 88 is a north–south state highway located within the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. The southern terminus is at U.S. Route 250 in Limestone. The northern terminus is at West Virginia Route 27 five miles east of Wellsburg and 400 yards (370 m) west of the Pennsylvania border.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway</span> Company and former railroad in the United States

The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway was a railroad in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia, areas. Originally built as the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway, a Pittsburgh extension of George J. Gould's Wabash Railroad, the venture entered receivership in 1908 and the line was cut loose. An extension completed in 1931 connected it to the Western Maryland Railway at Connellsville, Pennsylvania, forming part of the Alphabet Route, a coalition of independent lines between the Northeastern United States and the Midwest. It was leased by the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1964 in conjunction with the N&W acquiring several other sections of the former Alphabet Route, but was leased to the new spinoff Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway in 1990, just months before the N&W was merged into the Norfolk Southern Railway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greater Pittsburgh</span> Region in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania

Greater Pittsburgh is a populous region centered around its largest city and economic hub, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The region encompasses Pittsburgh's urban core county, Allegheny, and six adjacent Pennsylvania counties: Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland in Western Pennsylvania, which constitutes the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area MSA as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interstate 470 (Ohio–West Virginia)</span> Highway in Ohio and West Virginia

Interstate 470 (I-470) is a 10.63-mile-long (17.11 km) auxiliary Interstate Highway of I-70 that bypasses the city of Wheeling, West Virginia, in the US. I-470 is one of 13 auxiliary Interstate Highways in Ohio and the only auxiliary Interstate Highway in West Virginia. The western terminus of I-470 is an interchange with I-70 in Richland Township, Ohio. Traveling southeast through rural Belmont County, I-470 approaches the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, which spans the Ohio River. After crossing the river into Ohio County, West Virginia, the highway turns east toward the Wheeling communities of Bethlehem and Elm Grove and its eastern terminus at I-70 near Elm Grove. The portion of the highway in West Virginia is named the USS West Virginia Memorial Highway by proclamation of then-Governor Cecil H. Underwood on the 59th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">West Virginia State Capitol</span> State capitol building of the U.S. state of West Virginia

The West Virginia State Capitol is the seat of government for the U.S. state of West Virginia, and houses the West Virginia Legislature and the office of the Governor of West Virginia. Located in Charleston, West Virginia, the building was dedicated in 1932. Along with the West Virginia Executive Mansion it is part of the West Virginia Capitol Complex, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wheeling Island</span> Island in West Virginia, United States

Wheeling Island is the most populated island in the Ohio River. It lies within the city of Wheeling in Ohio County, West Virginia, in the United States. The 2000 census showed a resident population of 3,142 people on the island, which has a land area of 1.514 square kilometres. Neville Island, Pennsylvania, is larger but has fewer people (1,232).

Klieves, Kraft & Company was a building contractor and architectural firm in Wheeling, West Virginia. The firm was involved in the construction of West Virginia University's Woodburn Hall in the 1870s, among other historic structures in the state of West Virginia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interstate 70 in West Virginia</span> Highway in West Virginia

Interstate 70 (I-70) is a portion of the Interstate Highway System that runs from near Cove Fort, Utah, at a junction with I-15 to Baltimore, Maryland. It crosses the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia through Ohio County and the city of Wheeling. This segment is the shortest of all states through which I-70 passes, crossing West Virginia for only 14.45 miles (23.26 km). The Fort Henry Bridge carries I-70 from Wheeling Island across the Ohio River and into downtown Wheeling before the freeway enters the Wheeling Tunnel. I-470, a southerly bypass of Wheeling and the lone auxiliary Interstate Highway in West Virginia, is intersected near Elm Grove. Before crossing into Pennsylvania, I-70 passes The Highlands, a major shopping center in the panhandle, and the Bear Rocks Lake Wildlife Management Area. On average, between 27,000 and 53,000 vehicles use the freeway every day.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Capitol Theatre (Wheeling, West Virginia)</span> Theatre in West Virginia, United States

The Capitol Theatre is the largest theatre in West Virginia and a landmark building in the national historic district of downtown Wheeling. For many years, it has served as the home of Jamboree USA and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Jamboree USA, a Saturday night live country music show broadcast on WWVA 1170 AM from 1926 until 2007, was the second-longest running radio show in the United States, second only to the Grand Ole Opry. The live music show annually drew hundreds of thousands of country music fans to Wheeling, where both local acts and nationally known celebrities such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and Charley Pride would perform.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Siege of Fort Henry (1777)</span> 1777 battle of the American Revolutionary War

The siege of Fort Henry was an attack on American militiamen during the American Revolutionary War near the Virginia outpost known as Fort Henry by a mixed band of Indians in September 1777. The fort, named for Virginia Governor Patrick Henry, was at first defended by only a small number of militia, as rumors of the Indian attack had moved faster than the Indians, and a number of militia companies had left the fort. The American settlers were successful in repulsing the Indian attack.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Centre Market Square Historic District</span> Historic district in West Virginia, United States

Centre Market Square Historic District is a historic district in Wheeling, West Virginia, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Wheeling, West Virginia, US.

Thomas Sweeny or Sweeney, was a prominent glass manufacturer in what became Wheeling, West Virginia during the American Civil War, who before that war served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly and ran the North Wheeling Flint Glass Works. .


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Further reading