Wheeling West Virginia Facts

Wheeling, West Virginia has a rich history that goes way back. It’s nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and has the Ohio River flowing right by it. This place has a lot to offer, from stunning views to cool history.

Did you know that Wheeling was once almost the capital of West Virginia? Yeah, it’s true! Back in the day, it was a really important city. It was like a gateway out west for early American settlers. Plus, it played a big part during the Civil War.

Today, Wheeling is known for some really fun stuff too. It’s got parks, museums, and even a big wheel that lights up at night called the Wheeling Wheel. There’s always something to see or do in the city.

But it’s not just what’s in the city that’s interesting. The whole area around Wheeling has its own stories. Places like Weirton, WV, and Steubenville, OH are close by and they share some of the history and culture that make this part of the country special.

Historical Significance of Wheeling, WV

Long ago, Wheeling was a booming place because of the Ohio River. Boats loaded with goods would come and go. This made Wheeling a big deal for trade and helped it grow.

Wheeling has another cool claim to fame. It was the spot where West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the Civil War. They didn’t want to join the Confederacy, so they started their own state right at a place called Wheeling Island.

This city also had the first official monument in West Virginia. It’s called the “Soldiers and Sailors Monument,” and it honors the folks who fought in the Civil War. It’s a big piece of history that stands tall in Wheeling.

Fun fact: Wheeling had the first suspension bridge in the world that crossed a major river. The Wheeling Suspension Bridge was like a giant step forward in how people built things back then.

Speaking of bridges, today, Wheeling is home to another famous bridge, the Fort Henry Bridge. It’s a big part of how people get around and see the beautiful sights along the river.

For more info on Wheeling’s history and cool facts, check out their website www.wheelingwv.gov.

Birthplace of West Virginia

Long ago, Wheeling was home to the Wheeling Convention. This meeting was super important because it started West Virginia’s journey to become its own state. Can you imagine Wheeling being the place where a whole new state decided to start? That’s pretty awesome!

The city also has a famous bridge called the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1849. People used this bridge to cross the Ohio River way before cars were around. It was a big deal for traveling and trade.

Something else cool about Wheeling is the Capitol Theatre. It’s really old and has seen a lot of history. Many famous people have performed there. Even today, people go there to watch shows and have a good time.

Wheeling has seen a lot of change, but some things stay the same. Like the old buildings downtown that are from the 1800s. They give us a peek into what life was like way back then. It’s like walking through a history book!

For more about Wheeling’s past, check out the local museums or take a history tour. You can learn a bunch and have fun too! If you want to know more about the Wheeling Historical Society, you can visit their website here.

National Road and the Wheeling Suspension Bridge

Not only is Wheeling full of history, but it was also super important for business a long time ago. The National Road reached Wheeling in 1818, making it a key spot for people traveling west. This road helped Wheeling grow a lot because it brought so many people and goods to the city.

Wheeling has a past filled with energy, especially during the Civil War. The city was split between North and South feelings, but still, it stayed strong. Back then, people here were busy making things for the war, like uniforms and wagons.

Coal was big in Wheeling too. The city was on top of loads of coal which helped make it rich. They dug it up and sent it all over to help power the country. This black rock made Wheeling an important place for industry.

Also, Wheeling was known for its glass production. Starting in the late 1800s, it became a big deal in the glass world. People all over the country used glass made right in Wheeling for their windows and dishes.

If you’re ever in Wheeling and want to see some of this history for yourself, go to the Victorian Old Town. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time with all the old houses and buildings. It’s a neat way to see how people lived during Wheeling’s boom.

For more cool stories and facts, you can visit the Ohio County Library’s website here. They have tons of info about Wheeling’s past that you can explore.

Civil War Era

Wheeling holds a special place in the story of America’s growth. It was the first capital of West Virginia when the state split from Virginia during the Civil War. That’s pretty cool because it shows Wheeling was at the heart of big changes in our country.

Way before that, in the 1700s, Wheeling was a frontier town. It was one of the spots where early Americans pushed the border of what was known. It was named after “Wheeling Creek,” which got its name from a Delaware word meaning “place of the head” or “place of the skull.”

A famous thing happened in Wheeling in 1777. It was called the Siege of Fort Henry, and it was a big deal. People in Wheeling fought to protect their home against British soldiers and Native American warriors. The city even has a monument to remember this event!

Did you know that a big part of American labor history happened in Wheeling? In the late 1800s, there was a lot of tension between workers and the folks running the big businesses. Wheeling had strikes and talks that helped shape workers’ rights across the country.

The Wheeling Suspension Bridge is another historical gem. When it opened in 1849, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. It showed everyone that Americans could build amazing things. This bridge connected people and helped the city grow even more.

Economy and Industry in Wheeling

Many years ago, Wheeling was super important for making things like glass, steel, and tobacco. These industries made Wheeling a busy place with lots of jobs. Now, it’s a bit different, but the city still works hard.

Today, Wheeling has new kinds of jobs. The health care sector is really big, helping to keep people healthy. There are also jobs in education, where people work to teach kids and adults lots of cool stuff.

There’s a place called the Highlands, which is a big shopping area with lots of stores and places to eat. It’s a pretty new part of Wheeling, and it’s helped bring more jobs to the area.

Wheeling also has casinos and places to watch races, which are popular for entertainment. People come from all over to have fun and try their luck. This helps Wheeling’s economy because visitors spend money at these places.

Another neat thing is the Centre Market. It’s an old part of Wheeling with cool shops and yummy places to eat. It’s been around for a while and is a fun spot for both locals and tourists to explore.

Even though it’s not the industrial giant it used to be, Wheeling is trying new ways to keep its economy strong. It’s mixing the old stuff people love with new ideas to make sure there are great opportunities for everyone.

Steel and Manufacturing Heritage

Wheeling’s economy has changed a lot over time. In the past, it was all about coal mining and steel. These industries made Wheeling a powerhouse in the Ohio Valley. Now, not as many people mine coal or make steel, but these jobs were once the lifeblood of the city.

These days, Wheeling is into new things. Health care and education are big players in the local economy. Lots of people work at hospitals and schools, helping the community stay healthy and smart.

Another cool industry in Wheeling is tourism. People come to see the historic sites and the beautiful Wheeling Heritage Trail. Visitors like to explore and learn, and when they visit, they spend money at local shops and restaurants.

Wheeling also rocks at making some tasty treats. Companies in the city make yummy chocolates and delicious baked goods. These businesses are part of Wheeling’s new wave of industry, mixing tradition with new flavors.

But don’t forget the high-tech side! Wheeling has businesses that work with computers and new technology. These companies are creating jobs that need a good head for tech and are bringing fresh ideas to the city.

Another important piece of Wheeling’s economy puzzle is the legal world. Being the county seat of Ohio County means there are lots of jobs in government and law. This helps Wheeling stay an important place in the state of West Virginia.

Current Economic Landscape

For folks who like to shop or eat out, Wheeling’s got covered malls and plazas. There are places like The Highlands, full of stores and restaurants. It’s a spot where many people from around the valley come to spend their cash.

Wheeling is also where people build things. There are factories that make parts for cars and even stuff that goes into space. Workers here are proud of making things that are used all over the country.

Some big companies have offices here too. They like Wheeling because it’s not too big and not too small, and it’s right by the Ohio River and highways. This makes it easy to send things to other places.

Even with these cool jobs, some people in Wheeling are working on new ideas to make even more work for everyone. They’re starting small businesses and finding new ways to make money.

There’s help for people who want to start their own business too. Places like the Wheeling Heritage Center give advice and a helping hand to get new businesses going.

There are also local farms around Wheeling that grow food for the community. These farmers help bring fresh and healthy stuff to our tables and are a growing part of our economy.

Rejuvenation Efforts

Wheeling has a long history of making glass. Once called the “Glass City,” it was famous for this craft. Many glass factories are now gone, but Wheeling still remembers that part of its past.

The health field is pretty big here too. Hospitals and medical centers in Wheeling offer lots of jobs. People come from all over to get treated or to work in these places.

Colleges in Wheeling train students for all kinds of jobs. West Virginia Northern Community College and Wheeling University are important for learning new skills. They help the local economy by preparing people for work.

Tourism is also a part of what makes money in Wheeling. Places like the Oglebay Resort attract visitors. Festivals and historical sites like the Wheeling Suspension Bridge bring in tourists.

Entertainment is a way Wheeling earns too. There’s the Capitol Theatre, where people go to see plays and concerts. It’s not just fun – it also creates jobs for those who run these events.

Cultural and Recreational Highlights

Wheeling loves its festivals, especially the Italian Festival and the Music Festival. These events fill the city with music, food, and fun. Lots of folks come out to enjoy them.

Oglebay Park is a big deal in Wheeling. It’s got a zoo, golf courses, and beautiful gardens. People from all over visit, especially when the Winter Festival of Lights happens.

The Ohio River runs right by Wheeling. It’s perfect for fishing and boating. There are also trails for walking and biking that give great views of the water.

The Wheeling Heritage Port is where many outdoor parties and concerts happen. It’s right on the river too, so it’s a nice spot to chill and watch boats go by.

Art is part of Wheeling’s soul. The Stifel Fine Arts Center and the Oglebay Institute’s Glass Museum show cool art and glass pieces. They teach classes too, so people can learn how to make their own.

Sports are big in Wheeling as well. The Wheeling Nailers hockey team plays games that pump up the crowd. They’re part of a league that helps pro players get started.

History buffs can explore the Victorian Old Town. This area has old houses that look like they’re from a movie. They tell the story of Wheeling back in the day.

The Market Plaza is where people shop and hang out. It’s got old buildings turned into cool shops. It’s like Wheeling’s living room where everyone meets.

Annual Events and Festivals

Wheeling is full of fun things to do and see. The Oglebay Park is a great place to visit, with its zoo, golf courses, and beautiful gardens. Every winter, the park has a big light show that’s really popular.

For history buffs, the Wheeling Heritage Trail is perfect. It’s a path that goes by the river and through the city. Along the way, you can see old buildings and learn about the city’s past.

Art lovers have the Stifel Fine Arts Center. It has art classes and galleries. Plus, they put on events where you can make and see art.

Sports are really big here too. People get really into high school football games. The WesBanco Arena is where they have hockey games and other big events.

Families love the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum. It’s filled with toys and trains from all kinds of times. Some weekends, they let you play with the toys!

Festivals bring the community together in Wheeling. The Heritage Music BluesFest is one of the coolest. Music fans come from far and wide to listen to live blues.

Points of Interest

Wheeling, West Virginia is not just fun during the day. At night, there are concerts and shows at the Capitol Theatre. It’s a historic place where you can see plays, concerts, and other entertainment.

The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is awesome too! They play music like Beethoven and movie soundtracks, and they even have fireworks sometimes.

People also like the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. It’s a spot where you can watch greyhound races, play games, and try your luck.

Victoria Theater is the oldest in West Virginia. It’s small but it’s got lots of character. They show live music and sometimes movies.

Another cool event is the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival. You get to eat tasty Italian food, watch parades, and enjoy music. It happens every July and it’s a big deal in Wheeling.

When it’s warm out, the Heritage Port is where people hang out. They have outdoor movies and concerts right by the river. It’s perfect for chilling with friends or family.

If you like water fun, the Wheeling Park has a pool with a water slide. Plus, on the Fourth of July, they have a giant picnic with a fireworks show.

Outdoor Activities

In Wheeling, WV, the Oglebay Park is a must-visit. Kids and adults can see animals at the Good Zoo and play golf on beautiful courses. This park is huge and has a lot of nature to enjoy.

Art lovers will like the Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center and School of Dance. They have art classes, exhibits, and dance lessons. It’s fun and you can learn something new.

The Centre Market in Wheeling is also really cool. It’s an old market that now has shops and places to eat. You can find neat stuff there and the food is yummy!

Wheeling has a skate park too. It’s called the Wheeling Skatepark and it’s got ramps and rails for skateboarding. Everyone from beginners to pros can have a good time here.

The Wheeling Heritage Trail is great for biking and walking. It goes along the river and you can see the city while getting exercise. It’s nice for a quiet walk or a bike race.

History buffs will enjoy the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. It’s super old and was once the biggest suspension bridge in the world. You can walk across it and see the river below.

Lastly, sports fans can watch the Wheeling Nailers hockey team. They play at the WesBanco Arena and the games are exciting. People cheer loud for the home team!


So there you have it, some cool facts about Wheeling, WV! It’s a city with a lot to offer, from the lush Oglebay Park to the historic Centre Market. Whether you’re into sports, art, history, or just love being outdoors, Wheeling’s got a little bit of something for everyone.

Remember, these are just a few highlights. Wheeling’s story is deep and full of interesting bits. The city’s past is tied to the famous Wheeling Suspension Bridge and its streets buzz with the energy of the Wheeling Nailers’ fans. It’s a community that celebrates both its heritage and looks forward to a bright future.

Next time you’re around the Ohio Valley, consider stopping by Wheeling, WV. Take a stroll on the Heritage Trail, grab a bite at the market, and soak in the local vibe. Who knows, you might find yourself not wanting to leave this charming piece of West Virginia. Thanks for learning all these fun facts with us!