Last year, Wheeling area residents witnessed the loss of one of the oldest and renowned businesses in the region as the Wheeling-La Belle Nail Company plant was demolished to make way for a mixed-income housing development. While the buildings may no longer stand, the legacy of this iconic plant is destined to be preserved now that its records have found a permanent home in the Archives and Special Collections Department at the Ohio County Public Library.
At the time of its closing in 2010, the La Belle plant had been producing its signature cut nail for nearly 160 years. For several years, the building lay empty and idle while nail machines dating to the 19th century, nail processing equipment, and administrative records all lay collecting dust. In 2015, when much of the interior equipment was up for auction, the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation rescued an essential part of Wheeling’s industrial history when it bought the paper records that resided in the building for $5.00. Read More