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Nestled along the banks of the Ohio River, Wheeling started its life as a frontier town settled by the Zane family. On Sept. 11-13, 1782, the last battle of the Revolutionary War was fought in Wheeling when Fort Henry was attacked by British soldiers and Indian allies. During the siege, Betty Zane — sister of founders Ebenezer and Isaac Zane — was loading a rifle when she saw her father fall to the attackers. The fort needed more gunpowder and Betty Zane knew where her father had buried a big box of it in their cabin. She raced from the fort to the cabin, completed her mission and saved the garrison. Her heroic act earned her a place in ...

Nestled along the banks of the Ohio River, Wheeling started its life as a frontier town settled by the Zane family. On Sept. 11-13, 1782, the last battle of the Revolutionary War was fought in Wheeling when Fort Henry was attacked by British soldiers and Indian allies. During the siege, Betty Zane — sister of founders Ebenezer and Isaac Zane — was loading a rifle when she saw her father fall to the attackers. The fort needed more gunpowder and Betty Zane knew where her father had buried a big box of it in their cabin. She raced from the fort to the cabin, completed her mission and saved the garrison. Her heroic act earned her a place in history. The community of Betty Zane near Wheeling was named in her honor. Also one of her descendants turned out to be author Zane Grey who wrote a historical novel about his ancestor and named his daughter after her. Established as a town in 1795, Wheeling served several stints as the state capital, from 1863 to 1870 and from 1875 to 1885. The capital was moved so often in its early years that it was jokingly called the "floating capital." In 1885, the capital moved from Wheeling to Charleston, where it has remained. Built in 1849 to connect Wheeling to Wheeling Island, the 1,010-foot-long Wheeling Suspension Bridge is one of the longest in the world. Walk through the Old Town section of Wheeling with its beautiful Victorian homes to glimpse the city's history as an important port where the National Road met the Ohio River.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and autumn