Ritchietown Renaissance, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that was formed by people dedicated to saving the physical historic resources of South Wheeling, West Virginia, which was originally known as Ritchietown.
The organization came into being in 2022 as a response to the loss of the historically-significant John L. Hobbs House (c.1850), which was the last physical connection to South Wheeling’s once vibrant glass industry.
Our primary goal is the preservation of buildings, either through our own actions, or by providing assistance to others in their preservation efforts. We will be partnering with the South Wheeling Preservation Alliance on some projects. Our missions are compatible, not competitive.
Ritchietown was laid out in 1835, and the area eventually became home to five major industries – glass, iron & nails, pottery & tile, beer and tobacco products.
The proximity of raw materials, access to transportation, and available space drew entrepreneurs to the area, which were followed by skilled craftsmen and factory workers from other parts of the United States and overseas.
The community developed as a working-class industrial area that was home to many immigrants and children of immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and several other countries. Several former residents and businesses have achieved national and international recognition in the fields of music, sports, labor organizing and technological innovation.
South Wheeling has a rich history that is worth saving! We hope you will join us by supporting historic preservation in South Wheeling. We are an IRS-recognized non-profit organization, so donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law!