I asked the McGregor sisters what they would tell someone considering a move to Wheeling. They simultaneously answered, “do it!”
Sisters Ellery and Madolyn Mcgregor, 25 and 27, both originally from Pasadena, California had heard of Wheeling previously.
“Our grandfather is from Wheeling, and our grandmother is from Kansas, but she was living here with family and working at Oglebay when they met. Then they moved to Los Angeles together.” Due to the family connection, the McGregor’s father often spent summers enjoying Wheeling, and in 2017, he shared his fondness for Wheeling with his wife. “Our mom took one look at the gorgeous, falling down Victorian houses here and said, ‘We have to find one to save.’” A few years of consistent Zillow searches allowed for a March 2021 purchase and a June 2021 cross-country move for the McGregor sisters.
Both sisters had been working remotely during COVID-19, and their bosses were more than willing to allow them the opportunity to continue their work in Wheeling. Ellery works in marketing and copywriting while Madolyn works in real estate. Outside of their traditional careers, the sisters are actively in the process of restoring a historic home in the Centre Market area of Wheeling. Using skills they learned as children in addition to skills they continue learning as adults, the sisters are working to reveal the true beauty of their Chapline Street home, a home that will ultimately be a family legacy. “Long term, our plan is for this to be a family home. We would like our parents to split our time between West Virginia and California, and in the future, this would be a place for us all to come back and gather.”
Settling in Wheeling has appealed to the McGregor sisters in a multitude of ways. Wheeling has much to offer both in terms of proximity to other cities and the cost of living. When discussing the adjustment from California to WV, both Ellery and Madolyn cite Wheeling’s location as a huge perk. “I might take a four-hour drive in California and still be in California. In Wheeling, I can get in the car and get nearly anywhere quickly.” And in terms of the cost of living? Wheeling’s housing market was alluring with its sense of realism and fairness. Madolyn stated, “The expensive houses in the area feel fair, like what a nice, expensive house might cost. In LA, a bungalow might go for 1.2 million.” Madolyn continues, “We knew it would be different, more affordable, more realistic.”
The people of Wheeling and the history of our city have also impressed the McGregor sisters. “So much has happened in Wheeling! How have I not heard of it until now?” states Madolyn. “I’ve enjoyed the conversations. We talk about the future of Wheeling and WV, and I walk away from conversations thinking ‘Man, we lucked out moving here when we did,’” states Ellery.
Interested in the McGregor story? Join their nearly 18k followers in the restoration process by following them on Instagram. The handle @chaplinehouse will guide any viewer through the amazing work the sisters have already completed with regular updates on the house’s progress.
•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.