Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Traveling Upriver

We saw it in January while we were in Wheeling, and Larry kept talking about it on the way home. Finally I said, "Okay, I'll call them and see if they will hold it for us until we can get back up there."

It was something I'd never seen before, although perhaps you have: a vintage metal glider chair for one. Usually porch gliders are made for two, like a couch, but this was a one-person chair. It needed work but the price was right. So I called Sib's, the antique mall (named for the brother and sister who own the place) where we saw the chair and sure enough they were agreeable. I mailed them a check and we figured we'd be back up to get our chair in a week or two. And then it snowed. And snowed. And got really cold, and snowed some more. By the time the weather was reasonable I was up to my neck in storytelling projects. But finally this past weekend we made the trip, combining it with a stop to add new items to our Marietta booth. That saved time and money, since the booth was on the way.

We weren't in a particular hurry, either. We meandered up the Ohio side of the river, which is usually considered to be the fastest way to get to Wheeling from here. We prefer the West Virginia side because of all the picturesque little towns along the way, but the Ohio side is pretty too. I wanted to show Larry a place I'd discovered several years ago with the granddaughters--an original town pump in the small town of Sardis, Ohio. The pump still stands in what was probably once the center of town.

Nearby is Marv's Place and the day we visited turned out to be the 12th anniversary of the restaurant. A cruise-in by antique car owners, music, free cupcakes...it was a great stop all around.

When we approached Wheeling (and were back on the Ohio side of the river) I asked Larry if he remembered where the antique mall was. No, he didn't really. Great! Neither did I! We ruminated on it for a while, and vaguely recalled that it was maybe on Route 40. And maybe we went through the Wheeling tunnel--or maybe not. Since we still had hours before the mall would close, we figured we'd just feel our way to the place, a hit-and-miss system that sometimes works and sometimes gets us terribly lost.

This time it worked. We ended up on what seemed to be a back way between the freeway and old Route 40 (also known as The National Road, since it was the first coast-to-coast road-building attempt). We stumbled on an old cemetery with this sign posted in front:

Hmmm... is business dying in Wheeling? Actually, the park was on down the road a bit; the Peninsula Cemetery is historic and apparently haunted, if the stories about it are to be believed.

We did not have time by this point to investigate, but it's a promising place for a return visit.

 from WV Culture and History's website 
This grave, according to the article from the Wheeling News-Register posted on the WV Culture and History website, is the grave of a slave. I definitely need to make another visit here. You can read more about the cemetery and its legends here.

We made a stop at the Goodwill in Moundsville on the way home (when have I ever been able to resist a Goodwill?) and found a lovely little desk. When we took out the drawers to carry it into the house,  lot of papers fell out that identified the former owner as Maxine Earnest of Cameron, WV. I looked her up online and found that she passed away last year at 100 years of age. Such history her little desk must have seen.

We made one more stop on the way home at one of my favorite places, The Wells Inn in Sistersville, WV.

Spring cleaning and other work was afoot at the historic building. We had a good chat with Charles Winslow, the owner, and picked up a copy of the newspaper he's publishing, The INNformer. It's filled with interesting articles; Charles wrote an article in this issue about the early airmail service along the Ohio River valley-the planes never touched the ground! They made a swoop from the sky and snatched bags of mail with a hook. Fascinating reading. You can friend the INNformer on Facebook here. There are links there to more information about the mail service.

After a dinner that exactly met what I was craving (spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, garlic bread, coffee and coconut cake) we decided to walk off a few calories with a stroll around town.


And then we were homeward bound. It was a good day, start to finish.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Joy@aVintageGreen said...

What a lovely day. Your posts read like well loved stories. Hope you take a photo of the little desk to share.

Quinn said...

It's posts like this one that make me crave a visit to VA/WV/NC. With a side trip to your booth in Ohio!

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