I don't have any insightful professional topics to write about tonight. Actually, I'm a liar. I had an entire blog post written out about false perceptions vs. real reality, but it got wordy, I had trouble making a point, and I just didn't like it.
So I hit delete... quite a few times, in fact.
I'd really just like to tell you about the fabulous time I had in West By God Virginia today.
This afternoon was left class free so that VMS students could go on a tour, or ride a horse, or play some golf (or maybe take a nap). Based on the recommendation by a 2nd year student, I signed up to go on the Wheeling tour. The tour would take us around town and to the Capital Theatre and West Banco Arena.
Little did I know how INTERSTING that tour would be.
Venues aside (both were lovely, the theater being my favorite, I am partial after all), I absolutely became enamored by the history of Wheeling. I had no idea it existed before hearing about VMS, but wow, what a history.
How about a summary? Here goes:
- Locals call it the real gateway to the West. After hearing why, I might agree. Sorry St. Louis.
- Wheeling had filtered city water pumped to their houses 3 years before Manhattan. Take that NYC!
- The National Road runs right through the heart of town.
- It's home to the oldest, functioning suspension bridge in the US.
- Someone said the steam boat was invented here, but really I just think a TON were manufactured here.
- It was the first capital of West Virginia (the only state to be formed during the Civil War.
- Loads of rich people build loads of awesome houses during the 8 decades of the Victorian era. You can buy some of those now for a song.
- The Capital Theatre used to have a swimming pool and a bowling alley under the theater. It was planned for it to also house a 7 story hotel on top. The hotel never happen, neither did the pool. The bowling alley was donated to a penitentiary in the 1970s. However, the theater is still there and it's GORGEOUS.
- Brad Paisley and John Corbett are both from Wheeling. I'm "meh" about Brad, but wouldn't mind being pals with John Corbett.
If I've piqued your interest a bit, you can read all about it here: http://wheeling.weirton.lib.wv.us/history.htm