Wheeling’s Online Magazine

Welcome to Weelunk.

Weelunk is a nonprofit online magazine that shares Wheeling WV’s story.

What is Wheeling’s story? It depends on who you ask. That’s why Weelunk is created by the community, for the community. Weelunk is made up of a variety of community writers, each with their own perspectives. Our goal is to offer our readers stories and content that allows them to see themselves, and feel connected to our collective culture.

We want to encourage conversation and engage everyone in what’s happening here. We want you to feel connected to Wheeling – whether you’ve lived here all your life, moved away, or you haven’t even visited yet.

But what is a “Weelunk” you ask?

Both “Wheeling” and “Weelunk” are words believed to be derived from a Native American phrase “place of the skull” or “place of the head”. The folklore surrounding this phrase suggests that a skull was used as a geographic marker, claiming the territory that today we recognize as downtown Wheeling.

The folklore surrounding this skull is problematic, and it is worth noting that it is also an undocumented story. However, the root of both “wee” or “whee” remain as evidence of the language and culture of the original inhabitants of our area. As an organization, we choose to maintain the brand Weelunk so as not to erase what little evidence of indigenous stewardship we have.

The line between cultural appreciation and appropriation is a difficult one, and we hope that our content and approach helps all of us become a more inclusive and thoughtful community.

“Do something.” It’s more than just our motto. It’s a reminder to all of us that we can spark positive action in our community and beyond. We hope Weelunk inspires you to do something. Share your perspective. Get out and experience what there is to offer. Be a part of the Weelunk community.

Weelunk is a part of Wheeling Heritage — a nonprofit with the mission to serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling. Part of that mission is telling Wheeling’s story, both past and present.


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Are you interested in writing for Weelunk? Do you have an event or topic you’d like to see covered? Follow the link below to learn more!

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If you’re interested in advertising on Weelunk, follow the below link to view some of the ways we can help share your story, or email akarrasch@wheelingheritage.org for more info.

Our Staff

Alex Panas
Director of Heritage Programming

Johnathon Porter
Digital Content Specialist

Dillon Richardson
Digital Content Specialist

Amy Karrasch
Communications & Development Manager

Writers

Authors

  • Alex Panas

    Alex Panas is the Program Manager for Wheeling Heritage, where she works with artists, small business owners, and community stakeholders to provide technical assistance and create meaningful programs that enhance Wheeling. She also serves as the managing editor for Weelunk. Alex lives in St. Clairsville with her husband where they raise three cats and four spunky backyard chickens.

  • Anna Griffith

    Anna Griffith is a Senior majoring in English Rhetoric and Writing with a double minor in Creative Writing and Marketing. She is a founding member of Threshold and was the Public Relations Manager during her Sophomore and Junior year. She is continuing her PR position during her Senior year in addition to being Editor-in-Chief. After graduation, Anna hopes to attend a master’s program and eventually work in publishing or as a librarian.

  • Crin Joy

    Crin Joy is originally from the Pittsburgh, PA area. She obtained a degree in psychology from Wheeling Jesuit University. She has spent 16 years of her adult life in Wheeling and loves putting her psychology and social work background into everything from operational and marketing consulting, event organizing and anything else that helps Wheeling continue to grow. When not working on one of her many projects, she’s out and about in town or simply relaxing at home with her boyfriend and her fur kids.

  • Diana Bell
  • Ellen Brafford McCroskey

    Ellen Brafford McCroskey is a lifelong resident of Wheeling and a proud graduate of Wheeling Park High School, where she discovered her love of writing as a member of the yearbook staff. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management at the former Wheeling Jesuit College. By day, she utilizes that degree at the international law firm where she is employed. After work, you can find her relaxing with family, friends, and her clowder of cats.

  • Ellery McGregor

    "Ellery McGregor is a Wheeling transplant from Los Angeles, California. She works remotely for a marketing team in LA and now moonlights as an author for Weelunk. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from California State University Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Since moving to Wheeling over a year ago, she has spent her time helping her family restore an Italianate Victorian row house in Centre Market, picnicking at Heritage Port, and marveling over having actual seasons.

  • Emma Wiley

    Emma Wiley, originally from Falls Church, Virginia, was a former AmeriCorps member with Wheeling Heritage. Emma has a B.A. in history from Vassar College and is passionate about connecting communities, history, and social justice.

  • Jessica Broverman

    With a background in journalism and being a true Wheeling native, Jessica Broverman was destined to work with Weelunk. She holds a degree in journalism with a minor in criminal justice and works with Williams Lea Tag as a legal proofreader. When she isn’t typing away for Weelunk or WLT, she is enjoying a coffee at one of her many favorite spots in Wheeling, spending time with friends, or having fun with her husband Zachary and their two cats, Proctor and Max.

  • Justice Hudson

    Justice Hudson is an AmeriCorps volunteer and citizen journalist originally from Saint Albans, West Virginia, and has lived in Wheeling since January 2020. He studied history and women and gender studies at West Virginia University and has worked in farming and community education since moving to the Friendly City. In February 2023 he began writing as a folk reporter independently for the Hudson Household Editorial and for organizations including Mustard Seed Mountain, BlackByGod: The West Virginian, and Weelunk.

  • Karin Butyn

    Karin Butyn was born and raised in Wheeling, WV. A graduate of Wheeling Central, West Liberty University, and Wheeling Jesuit University, Karin spent nearly a decade teaching both English as Second Language and Reading Language Arts. She is currently in her third year as an Assistant Principal for Ohio County Schools. In her free time, she enjoys running and music. She and her husband, TJ, are raising their young sons, Finn and Watson, in Warwood.

  • Kate Wietor

    Kate Wietor is currently studying Architectural History and Historic Preservation at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. She spent one glorious year in Wheeling serving as the 2021-22 AmeriCorps member at Wheeling Heritage. Since moving back to Virginia, she’s still looking for an antique store that rivals Sibs.

  • Kelly Strautmann

    Kelly Strautmann lives out in the country of Cameron, West Virginia, and proofreads in the city of Wheeling. She has a supportive and talented husband and two ridiculous daughters who keep her busy and full of love.

  • Makayla Carney

    Makayla Carney, a Wheeling native, is the 2023-2024 AmeriCorps member for Wheeling Heritage, where she will get to write all about the history and culture of her hometown. She has a B.F.A. in Film and Television from DePaul University in Chicago. She adores all kinds of art, a lavender latte, and the occasional performance on the Towngate Theatre stage.

  • Melissa Rebholz

    Melissa Rebholz was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, to a Sicilian/German family. She grew up in a household revolving around food. In 2007, a summer of volunteering for GrowNYC (New York City's Farmer’s Markets) led her down the path to culinary school at The Natural Gourmet Institute and 10 subsequent years of farming from Long Island to Sonoma to Tennessee. Working simultaneously in kitchens to support her farming habit, Melissa migrated back to the rustbelt in October of 2019 to help Grow Ohio Valley open the Public Market as the head chef. Her hobbies include foraging, baking, dinner parties and exploring her new home of Wheeling, West Virginia.

  • Misty Klug

    Misty Klug is director of marketing and communication for Oglebay Institute. An advocate for the arts, board game geek and wannabe comedian, she questions everything and always roots for the underdog. She lives in Shadyside with her husband Joe and their dogs — Norman and Lucy. Now empty nesters, their passions include renovating homes, traveling, engaging with old and new friends, and porch sitting.

  • Provided
  • Rosemary Ketchum

    Rosemary Ketchum is a member of the Wheeling City Council representing Ward 3. Ketchum also serves as the Chief Facilitator of the public health coalition “Edible Mountain”. Rosemary’s work in community organizing and politics has been featured on TODAY, MSNBC, CBS, and CNN.

  • Sarah Clark

    Sarah Clark works full-time at an international law firm. A Wheeling resident, she earned her bachelor's from Ohio University and her master’s in Communication Studies from Ball State University, where she developed her passion for storytelling and skills in project management. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her Dalmatian, Anakin Skywalker, and dabbling in all things poetry and performance.

  • Steve Novotney
  • Victoria White

    Victoria White is a Wheeling native with deep roots in the Ohio Valley. She works for Grow Ohio Valley as the Public Market's Vendor Manager and is a lifelong 4-Her, farmer, retired competitive swimmer, and lover of all things Appalachia.

  • Weelunk Staff
  • Wheeling Heritage Media

    Wheeling Heritage Media, a subsidiary of Wheeling Heritage, creates a variety of multimedia experiences in order to tell Wheeling’s story, both past and present. Through videos, podcasts, photos, and more, they create content and provide digital access to help more people feel connected and engaged with this vibrant, growing community.

  • Wheeling Heritage Staff

    • Wheeling Heritage staff members Jake Dougherty, Alex Weld, Travis Henline, Chris Villamagna and Betsy Sweeny contributed to this story.

  • Will Wallace

    A true son of Wheeling, Will was born at Wheeling Hospital on a late summer’s day in August 1988. Since then he has traveled the world, started a business, played in a state championship basketball game, opened an art gallery and plays bass in a band. A graduate of Bishop Donahue Memorial High School (never forget) and West Virginia University, Will has decided that this somehow allows him to freelance for Weelunk. In his free time, he co-hosts a podcast called Appalachian Sound and Color, where he interviews artists living throughout the Appalachian Mountains. You can listen to it where you find podcasts or here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1271648.