Archiving Wheeling’s Year in Review
Officially launched in December of 2014, 2015 was Archiving Wheeling’s first full year, and it was a indeed good year for our fledgling community experiment to bridge collections, tell stories, and preserve Wheeling’s history.
What made last year such a great year?
To start, there were the partnerships with Weelunk, Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation, Friends of Wheeling, The California University of Pennsylvania and Heinz History Center Affiliates Program, West Virginia Northern Community College and Alumni Association; the collections showcased from Heritage Partners The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Archives, private collector Thaddeus Podrastsky, an Ohio Valley Hollywood Star (double), and of course, our very own Ohio County Public Library Archives; and then there were the guest authors Kate Quinn, Margaret Brennan, Bill Hogan, John Bowman, Jon Kniesner, and Wheeling Jesuit History Major, Becca Rodgers, a 2015 OCPL Archives intern. Not to mention the nearly 35,000 blog post views by visitors from over 70 countries!
Yep, a good year indeed.
And now, without further ado, here our top five posts from 2015:
#5: The Hazel Atlas Tour — They Used to Make Things Here
Thank yous are due to Frank Calabrese, Margaret Brennan, and The Friends of Wheeling for letting us tag along on this fantastic tour!
#4: Table Rock — A Timeless Curiosity
Many thanks go out to the Hess, Hogan, and Slack families for allowing us *access to the Table Rock, and to Richard Pollack for sharing additional photos of the Table Rock.
*As noted in this story, the Table Rock is located on private property. Please do not attempt to find it without first securing permission from the landowners.
#3: The Wheeling Memory Project — Ann Thomas
We are full of gratitude for the courage, strength, and kindness shown by Ann Thomas in days past and present. Thank you Ann for sharing your story with all of us!
#2: 1936 Flood — “The Big One”
This post would not have been what it was without the crisp and stark photos of the 1936 flood, provided by Jon-Erik Gilot, archivist for The Diocese of Wheeling Charleston Archives.
#1: The Benwood Mine Disaster of April 28, 1924
We thank Joey Tellitocci and the Benwood Mine Disaster Memorial Committee for their noble work. Special thanks are again due to the Diocesan Archives, for generously contributing to five archivingwheeling.org posts and two archives displays at the Ohio County Public Library in 2015. Our #1 post of the year was another great partnership between the Ohio County Public Library Archives and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Archives. Indeed, it vividly showcased the power of bridging collections (the very mission of Archiving Wheeling), as, inspired by this post, students in Christina Greer’s Digital Storytelling class decided to create a video commemorating the Benwood Mine Disaster as part of their honors class.
Rounding out our top ten posts for the year were the following stories:
#6: Adventures in Archives: History Mysteries Solved
#7: Bridging Time: Ellet’s Gothic Looking Suspension Bridge
#8: German Days: What Two Real Photo Postcards Reveal About Early Twentieth Century Wheeling
#9: The Fabric of Wheeling: The Stifel Legend & Photograph Collection
#10: A Treasure Hunt: The Stifel-Kossuth House
Thanks to all of our readers, contributors, and supporters who made 2015 a great year for Archiving Wheeling!
As we ring in 2016, we look forward to continuing to bridge community collections, working with new Heritage Partners, creating awareness of the efforts of local archives, inspiring old and young to look at Wheeling history with fresh eyes, and continuing to bring to you, our readers and supporters, the stories that made Wheeling what it is today.