The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Wheeling, West Virginia

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Wheeling, WV, the county seat of Ohio County, was settled in 1769 by Ebenezer Zane, though it was not incorporated as a town until 1806. Its name is derived from Native American phrase (see origin below) that was used for years prior to the Zane's settlement to designate the creek, Wheeling Creek, which now bissects the city. Wheeling was the site of Fort Fincastle in 1774, which was later known also as Fort Henry in honor of Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia. Wheeling has long been a quintessential American crossroads. The National Road (now U.S. Route 40) crosses the Ohio River at Wheeling, and Interstate expressways 70 and 470 course through the town. Many hotels and tourist attractions are located in and near Wheeling.

Wheeling, WV

Wheeling was the capital of West Virginia from 1863 to 1870, when it was moved to Charleston. In 1875 the seat of government was again moved to Wheeling, and it remained there until 1885, when it was again returned to Charleston.


Wheeling-Ohio County Airport

Map of helipads and airports in/near Wheeling, WV


Wheeling, WV, Hotels: Find nearby hotels and make online reservations


Wheeling, WV: Current conditions, forecasts, weather alerts, and more


Map of Wheeling and Vicinity

View a larger version of this map (best viewed full-screen) with links to driving directions and additional mapping options.


Capitol Theatre
Wheeling Centre Market
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum
Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack

Historic Districts
North Wheeling Historic District
Wheeling Historic District
Chapline Street Row Historic District

The Arts

Wheeling Symphony
Oglebay Institute
Wheeling Artisan Center


Ohio County Library


Radio Stations
WEIR (AM 1430)


Ohio County Schools : Map of schools in/near Wheeling, WV
Wheeling Jesuit University


Wheeling Artisan Center
Capitol Theatre
Wesbanco Arena
W.Va. Independence Hall
Victoria Theatre
Wheeling Center Market
First W.Va. State Capitol
B&O Railroad Building


Map of Wheeling, WV

Topo map of Wheeling, WV, and vicinity

Census Data

Population: 31,419
(2000 Census)


Elevation: 672 feet
Longitude: 40.0639
Latitude: -80.7211

National Bank of W.Va. Building, one of many high-style structures in Wheeling, W.Va.
The oldest suspension bridge still in operation in the world. Its original span was completed in 1849.
Boaters at Wheeling Park

Settlement of Wheeling, WV

In 1793 the existance of Wheeling as a town became evident when Zane divided the settlement into lots.

The story of the Settlement of Wheeling, WV by its founder, Colonel Ebenezer Zane, and his followers, continues in a separate article.

Development of Wheeling, WV

An article outlining the events and factors that contributed to the industrial and economic Development of Wheeling, WV from the early 1800s through the early decades of the 20th century.

Origin of the Name: Wheeling

One of the more credible accounts regarding the origin of the word "Wheeling" claims the word comes from the phrase "wih link," from the Native American Lenni-Lenape tribe, which means "place of the head," a reference to a captive whose severed head was placed on a pole beside the river at the spot where the community of Wheeling was built.

Variant Names for Wheeling, WV

Fort Fincastle, Fort Henry, Nail City, Weeling, Whealing, Wheelin, Zanesburg