Wheeling, West Virginia: Sports Fans vs History


The City of Wheeling in West Virginia has one of the most striking historic skylines which is both welcoming and lends to a level of deep respect. Home to the Wheeling Convention, this modest city was the springboard to the development of West Virginia as a U.S. State. Wheeling is also home to some of the most avid sports fans around. A visitor can see the blend of historic with the new parks and recreation areas. Sporting games of all types are played, and baseball seems to be the most popular. Games are attended by the people of Wheeling, cheering their favorite team as they watch the baseball scoreboards with eager anticipation. The plans for the Wheeling Sports Complex has created controversy between sports fans and the history of their beloved town.

West Virginia has a rather flexible state capital in the 1800’s. The state capital had been changed so often that it was coined the ‘floating capital’. But it was in the city of Wheeling that the Wheeling Convention was held to ratify the statehood, with the acknowledgement of this city as its first office capital.

The origins of the actual name of Wheeling are a topic of controversy today. Thought to be a derivative of a series of local Native American words that referred to an area where a white man was both scalped and beheaded, it is still unknown if this is the true reason for the city’s name. Wheeling had many European explorers that ventured into the area including the French and British. The first claim to the area is said to have been in 1770, with a group of small families that relocated and settled in the beautiful countryside to call it home. Fort Henry was built in the area and fended off many of the Shawnee Indian attacks as well as an attempt by the British for a takeover. The settlers fought valiantly and maintained their homeland.

The introduction of the railroad to the area offered Wheeling the advantage of growth and opportunity. West Virginia and specifically Wheeling was very much against the concept of slavery and opposed the Confederate cessation of states. The post Civil War time period gave Wheeling additional industrial opportunities as the railroad brought supplies through the area. Wheeling became a stopping and exchange point for the exchange and the city continued its prosperity with tobacco and steel.

As the city grew, they continued their efforts focused attention on the incredible historic areas of the town. The refurbishment of the buildings and monuments of the area levied a higher sense of pride. The addition of the various parks and recreation areas offered both townspeople and visitors alike the change to see some of the grandeur and natural beauty of the area. The population continued to grow and soon the area had colleges and universities gracing its borders.

The people of Wheeling have always held music and the arts in high regard. They take great pride in their theatres and museums as well as the many festivals and events held in the area every year. Their love of country music can be heard in celebration at their annual jamboree as well as the radio stations of the locale.

Sports is another topic that seems to be the most popular in Wheeling. They are some of the most avid fans of hockey, football, and soccer. This adds to the enjoyment of the local greyhound races and casinos. The area is known for offering the visitor the best of down home combined with having fun. Attending a game in Wheeling is an adventure. Whether on a field or in a park, the electric excitement of the fans can be heard as well as viewed on the electronic baseball scoreboards that help to cheer their teams to the winning edge. The new Wheeling Sports Complex that is currently planned has sparked a rather large argument in the town. The construction would destroy some of the most historic areas of Wheeling, including those that are listed in the National Register for Historic Places.


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