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The Northern Panhandle is located in the northern tip of West Virginia. When West Virginia became a state on June 20,1863, the border of the Northern Panhandle was determined by the Pennsylvania border on the east and the Ohio River to the north and west.

A number of world-class museums and historical sites tell the stories of the people who have called the region home including the ancient Adena people and the state's first pioneers.

Chester was a center of pottery and boasts the world's largest teapot.

Homer Laughin China still produces its famous Fiestaware in Newell and uses manpower instead of computers to do all the work. The outlet store is open seven days a week.

Cross over the Newell bridge and head on the Ohio side south to a small town of Toronto, Ohio where one of our MABB members lives. She is most proud of her small town and espically "Lady Liberty", a statue that was the first to be erected in the United States, to honor those of World War I commemorating our freedom.

Head north again across the Newell bridge and go a short distance pass Homer Laughlin to Mountaineer Park for gaming (horses and slots).

To enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, stop at Tomlinson Run State Park, a favorite spot for hiking, fishing and more.

Just north of Weirton is an historic marker telling of the first iron smelting furnace west of the Alleghenies, the Peter Tarr Furnace. This was the beginning of the steel industry that flourished in the Ohio Valley. Weirton is a trailhead for the Panhandle rail-trail that crosses the Northern Panhandle and continues into Pennsylvania.

The Olde St. John's Episcopal church on Eldersville Road is the oldest church west of the Alleghenies.

Wellsburg, home of Lewis & Clark expedition member Patrick Gas, has many antique shops in its historic district. The Depot, located several blocks east of the Ohio River, still has the high water mark of the devastating 1936 flood on the side of the building.

In Wheeling, visit Independence Hall, which was built before the Civil War and was the first Capital of West Virginia. An exhibit called "West Virginia: Born of the Civil War" allows you to learn how and why West Virginia was established. Wheeling was also a center of river traffic, nail making and cigars. The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and the WWVA Jamborr have been centers of their diverse cultures for generations. Oglebay Resort hosts a museum to the glass industry that was a main product of West Virginia in years past. November begins the Festival of Lights on the hill and downtown Wheeling each year.

Wheeling Downs is another gaming resort that features dogs and slots.

Fort Henry, the site of the heroic deeds of Betty Zane, was the early beginning of Wheeling. When the National Road was built west from Washington, DC, Wheeling was the western terminus.

Near Wheeling is Bethany College, West Liberty State College and Wheeling Jesuit University.

Moundsville is named for the Grave Creek Mound of the Adenas. Visit the museum at the Mound as well as tour the State Penitentiary site, now an attraction of West Virginia.

New Martinsville is another river town and glass center that now has antique shops that feature glassware from that era. A museum of the history of the river, glass and New Martinsville is located int he rear of the impressive Wetzel County Courthouse.

A nationally known apiary whose owner has been featured on the Tonight Show with his beard of live bees and Paden City, a manufacturing center of marbles, are both near New Martinsville.

The Fish Creek Covered Bridge in Hundred is still in use and is one of only 17 remaining in the state.

When traveling along the Ohio River be sure to watch for wildlife enjoying life along the numerous islands that make up the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Let history guide you through the magnificent Northern Panhandle. At each turn, you will find scenic vistas, amazing museums and wonderful shopping opportunities.

 

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