The holidays are here, a time when many Wheeling ex-pats return home to spend time with family and friends. While spending time with loved ones is what the season is all about, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to get out a little bit too! The hustle and bustle of socializing and holidays can be exhausting, so what better way to recharge your batteries than with a brisk walk around Wheeling to get some fresh air and explore our city’s interesting historical sites.
Luckily, Wheeling Heritage already has several self-guided walking tours prepared for your next Wheeling adventure! Here are five of our favorite walking tours:
Schmulbach Brewery Complex
Many immigrant groups have made their mark on Wheeling and influence it to this day. But did you know that Wheeling was once known as a little German city? That’s in large part due to brewer and businessman, Henry Schmulbach. At its peak, the Schmulbach Brewery Complex produced more than 200,000 barrels of beer a year. Explore this remarkable complex located in South Wheeling while learning about one of Wheeling’s most notorious brewers!
North Wheeling has dozens of fine Victorian buildings that many Wheeling innovators and industrialists once called home. This guide highlights some of these structures that are easy to appreciate while out on a quick stroll through the neighborhood.
The history of Wheeling’s churches parallels the history of Wheeling itself. As Wheeling’s population grew, so did its number of churches. Waves of German, Irish, Greek and Lebanese immigrants led to the founding of Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish congregations, with many of their 19th-century buildings still standing today. Check out this walking tour to marvel at Wheeling’s most historic and unique churches.
Completed in 1818, the National Road was America’s first interstate highway, becoming the main transportation route to the west. As the first major project undertaken by the U.S. Federal Government, the National Road’s legacy doesn’t come without a little controversy. Learn more about the myths and landmarks of West Virginia’s National Road in this brochure!
Warwood has a rich industrial history, including steel, aluminum, and mining. The suburb was even named after the Warwood Tool Company, which still exists to this day. Explore Warwood’s many historic homes, factories and buildings with this self-guided tour.
You can find even more downloadable self-guided tours at wheelingheritage.org. Each will inspire you to explore different pieces of Wheeling’s history.
• 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 four cats and four spunky backyard chickens.