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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wheeling in Ohio County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Wheeling Wharf

Front Door to the City on the Ohio River

 
 
Wheeling Wharf Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
1. Wheeling Wharf Marker
Inscription. The Wheeling Wharf played a crucial role in bringing people and products to and from our growing city. The port has seen the arrival of visitors such as Lafayette, Meriwether Lewis, Mark Twain, and thousands of steamboat passengers. The port was also the debarkation point for La Belle cut nails, Marsh stogies, Mail Pouch tobacco, and a host of other famous Wheeling products. The Wheeling Wharf was the point around which the city grew and prospered.
 
Location. 40° 4.051′ N, 80° 43.478′ W. Marker is in Wheeling, West Virginia, in Ohio County. Marker can be reached from Wheeling Heritage Trail. Click for map. Marker is along the Wheeling Heritage Trail north of the foot of 12th Street. Marker is in this post office area: Wheeling WV 26003, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wheeling -- "a pretty considerable Village" (here, next to this marker); Congressional Medal of Honor (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memoriam (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pennsylvania Depot (about 400 feet away); The Siege of Fort Henry (about 600 feet away); Fort Henry (about 600 feet away); Washington Hall (about 600 feet away); Wheeling Post No. 1 (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Wheeling.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRoads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels
 
Wheeling Wharf Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
2. Wheeling Wharf Marker
Transportation Crossroads image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
3. Transportation Crossroads
❶ The Zane family chose this spot as the site of their village, in part, because it was the northernmost navigable point on the Ohio River. In 1816, the steamboat George Washington was built for Captain Henry M. Shreve, marking the beginning of a shipbuilding industry that by 1879 had completed 99 steamboats. This area became a hub of transportation. Steamboat passengers could disembark at the wharf and be within a few steps of the railroad depot and in walking distance to the National Road heading west across the great Suspension Bridge.
Close-up of postcard on marker
Heavy Traffic image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
4. Heavy Traffic
❷ The Wheeling Wharf was an important stop along the Ohio River freight routes. At one time more cargo passed by Wheeling along the Ohio than any cargo that went through the Panama Canal. By the mid-1800s, three million people traveled the Ohio River annually. An account from the 1870s stated that one could regularly see fifty to seventy steamers leaving and passing Wheeling Wharf. An example of how powerful the Wheeling river trade had become was that by 1871 the total tonnage of the ships to be taxed was 116 vessels aggregating over 12,000 tons, growing to 445 vessels aggregating 35, 856 tons by 1878. Today, Wheeling sees approximately 42, 000,000 tons of cargo per year pass the Heritage Port, site of the former Wheeling Wharf.
Close-up of photo on marker
Iron Rings image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
5. Iron Rings
❸ Iron rings embedded in the sandstone wall are relics from the era when steamboats used them to "tie-up" at the Port of Wheeling. The advent of steam navigation on the Ohio River in 1811 marked the beginning of large scale immigration and industrialization in the Ohio Valley. In recognition of this commercial activity, the United States government designated Wheeling as a Port of Delivery on March 1831. At that time, the wharf stretched from 9th street in North Wheeling to 23rd Street in Center Wheeling.
Close-up of postcard on marker
Brent Carney
Iron Ring image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
6. Iron Ring
The Steamboat George Washington image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 31, 2013
7. The Steamboat George Washington
built in 1816 for Henry Shreve.
model on display at WVA Independence Hall
<i>Panoramic Birds Eye View of River Front, Wheeling, W. Va.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1910
8. Panoramic Birds Eye View of River Front, Wheeling, W. Va.
This postcard is based on the same photograph as the hand-tinted postcard shown in Photo 2, albeit cropped differently.
<i>Wharf, Wheeling, W. Va.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1910
9. Wharf, Wheeling, W. Va.
Showing the Steamer Clerimond.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 290 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   8, 9. submitted on . • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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