Romantic Wheeling Project: Big Wheeling Creek

I existed prior to this place for which I am titled.

My role in shaping this town has truly been unrivaled.

Some call me “Big”, and they are right in doing so.

For my generous girth supplies The Mississippi (via Ohio).

It seems that all the roads around here look for guidance from me.

Yes, even the walking trail tries to follow me out to sea.

Bridges, however, oppose my path, as if people thought me a nuisance.

This isn’t true. There are quite a few, but I know I still have my uses.

On hot summer days I see them come, with paddle or oar in hand.

Vessels ready, they make their way when they have no more use for land.

Fishermen will lighten my load at any time of day.

Some debase me with unwanted filth, much to my dismay.

Now you may have heard that I flood the town from time to time.

What can I say? It’s what I do. I offer no defense for my crime.

But do you think your mills, mines, and factories would have come to be

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If it hadn’t been for me and my work. You give no credit to me.

From Elm Grove I twist and turn and slosh and slant and sway.

Up to Oglebay, down National Road, or through Woosdale I make my way.

People think they’re important, accomplished, or famous: what a pity.

I’ll tell you the truth, I am Big Wheeling Creek, and I’m the one who built this city.


The Romantic Wheeling Project is a multi-genre place-based learning project where 12th grade Honors English students at Wheeling Park High School used themes of British Romanticism like Natural over Artificial, Emotion over Reason, and the Quest for Forbidden Knowledge to explore their emotional connection with The Friendly City that raised them. Students were to choose one landmark, neighborhood, or place in Wheeling to inspire their open form creative writing. The student wrote short stories, poems, songs, and played with other genres to express their connections and views of Wheeling through a Romantic lens.