West Virginia State Museum Education

Discovery Room 8: The Big City

Discovery Room 8



It’s perfectly okay to step on the map! In the 1800s, Wheeling was one of the largest cities in Virginia and a hub of activity. The National Road passed through Wheeling and the Suspension Bridge, a forerunner of the famed Brooklyn Bridge, opened the way to frontier territories. Many immigrants settled in this industrial town and brought their cherished customs, including devotional altars such as one on display handcrafted by a German immigrant.

This exhibit is dedicated to Wheeling, where industrialization and growth were in stark contrast to the rest of western Virginia at the time. Learn more about this “big city” and the impact that the National Road, Wheeling Suspension Bridge and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad had on its development. You’ll also learn about architecture in West Virginia and the life of immigrants.

Discovery Room 8

Video courtesy of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Videographer/Editor: Janet Kunicki; Narrator: Beth Vorhees

Continue to Explore, or return to the preview homepage:

Discovery Room 1
1: An Ancient Land
Discovery Room 2
2: Prehistoric People
Discovery Room 3
3: Conflict and Settlement
Discovery Room 4
4: Frontier Life
Discovery Room 5
5: John Brown's Raid
Discovery Room 6
6: The War within a State
Discovery Room 7
7: The Case for Statehood
Discovery Room 8
8: The Big City
Discovery Room 9
9: The Family Farm
Discovery Room 10
10: The Company Store
Discovery Room 11
11: Changing Roles of Women
Discovery Room 12
12: Trains and Railroads
Discovery Room 13
13: Boats and Rivers
Discovery Room 14
14: Industrialization
Discovery Room 15
15: The Mining Life
Discovery Room 16
16: The State Capitol
Discovery Room 17
17: It's Not all Work
Discovery Room 18
18: The Great Depression
Discovery Room 19
19: The Mine Wars
Discovery Room 20
20: West Virginians at War
Discovery Room 21
21: Late 20th Century
Discovery Room 22
22: Celebrating West Virginia
Discovery Room 23
23: From Here to There
Discovery Room 24
24: Painting and Sculpture
Discovery Room 25
25: A Legacy of Craftsmanship
Discovery Room 26
26: Traditions of Music