Want to learn more about the history of South Wheeling? Several books and database resources are available for further research!

Wheeling’s Polonia by William Hal Gorby

William Hal Gorby’s study of Wheeling’s Polish community weaves together stories of immigrating, working, and creating a distinctly Polish American community, or Polonia, in the heart of the upper Ohio Valley steel industry. It addresses major topics in the history of the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, while shifting from urban historians’ traditional focus on large cities to a case study in a smaller Appalachian setting.

William Hal Gorby is a teaching assistant professor of history and director of undergraduate advising at West Virginia University. He teaches courses on West Virginian, Appalachian, and American immigration history. He also consulted on the research and script editing for the Emmy-nominated PBS American Experience documentary The Mine Wars.

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The Saga of South Wheeling by Ginger Kabala, Donna Freter, and Br. John Byrd

Written in 2020-2021 alongside the establishment of the South Wheeling Historic District on the National Historic Registry, this book covers the industries, individuals, businesses and community centers that have made up South Wheeling in comprehensive detail that includes many interesting lesser known histories unavailable elsewhere. In researching, area experts were contacted to and oral records collected, the sources being readily credited throughout the text.

Contributors Ginger Kabala and Br. John Byrd are members of the South Wheeling Preservation Alliance and Ritchietown Renaissance. Donna Freter contributes as a native of South Wheeling.

Copies can be purchased at ‘Attic Picker’ in the Centre Market Wheeling area, and by phone; call Brother John at 304-232-3618

Ohio County Public Library Collections & Database

The Ohio County Public Library offers great resources and online collections for those researching the Wheeling/South Wheeling areas! On their website they have pages covering famous buildings, individuals, industries, and collections objects. An additional resource of the library is digital scans of historic area publications including the The Intelligencer from 1852-present and the Wheeling News-Register that begins in 1863.

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