Editor’s note: At Weelunk, we’re all about keeping you connected to your community. Because that looks a little different right now, we’re bringing you ways to engage while staying safe and healthy. We hope Weelunk can continue to connect you to Wheeling — no matter where you are.
As medical professionals and government officials continue to respond to the coronavirus, we see more programs and events being rescheduled or canceled. Many of the entertainment outlets we would typically turn to during a period of rest are temporarily unavailable to us. As a community, we have a responsibility to practice social distancing, to protect our friends and neighbors.
But there’s so much more to do during this time than binge Netflix and scroll Facebook.
Wheeling is home to an impressive selection of arts, culture and history resources that can be enjoyed while following social distancing guidelines.
GO ON A WALKING TOUR
Walking while maintaining an appropriate distance is considered a safe activity. Wheeling Heritage has several neighborhoods and history walking tours available on their website. Print one out and take a stroll or take them all with you for a driving tour of the whole city.
BROWSE HISTORIC PHOTOS
The Ohio County Public Library hosts an impressive collection of historic photos of Wheeling on its Flickr page. Scroll through them randomly, or search within their collection for historic photos of your favorite spots. Something jog your memory? Share it and connect with your community in the Memories of Wheeling, WV Facebook group.
TAKE IN PUBLIC ART
Art museums and galleries might be closed, but you can still get your fill with public art. Wheeling has a wide range of public art pieces in neighborhoods from downtown to Oglebay. Some favorites? Robert Villamagna’s painting on the back of 1109 Main street, Jeff Forster’s sculpture behind the B&O Building, the Wheeling 250 Murals by Patricia Croft on Chapline and 16th streets and Wheeling’s newest addition, Gideon the T. rex at SMART Centre Market. Take a look around and see how many you can find!
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GO FOR A WALK AT THE CEMETERY
Mount Wood Cemetery is the final resting place for many of Wheeling’s famous residents. And, thanks to Friends of Wheeling, the research is done for you. Pull up their Mount Wood Cemetery Tour videos on YouTube, and play them on your phone as your walk from site to site.
HAVE A DRINK
We all know long stretches of time at home can be cause to imbibe. If you’re a beer drinker, try listening to Weelunk’s podcast, “Henry,” about Wheeling’s most notorious brewer while you enjoy a few cold ones. Is wine more your speed? If you’re heading to Good Mansion Wines to stock up, you might want to learn a little about the mansion’s history. Call ahead for curbside pickup! Then, take a drive up to Grandview Hill and check out the historical marker explaining the history of Vineyard Hills.
GET SOME CULTURE
Oglebay Institute has modified many of its programs in light of the recent outbreak. Everything from online dance classes to daily nature videos will be available. Call some friends and commit to the hip-hop class. Show off your new skills by sending each other your performances via snapchat or tik tok. For a full list of Oglebay Institute’s offerings, look on OI’s Facebook page.
• Betsy Sweeny, historic preservation program manager at Wheeling Heritage, is an architectural historian and Wheeling transplant. She spends her free time on Heritage Trail with her dog Marshall.