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Museums

May 20, 2012
Times Leader
THE OHIO Valley has a rich and varied past and many museums pay tribute to the past while others look to the future and the youngest of Ohio Valley residents and visitors to see the wonders of play and fun. Period antiques, glittering glass treasures and fun heritage activities await visitors who stop and explore The Museums of Oglebay Institute. The two museums sit atop a picturesque hill above Wheeling, once known as the gateway to the west. Located in Oglebay Resort, the museums are surrounded by landscaped lawns and gently rolling hillsides amid Oglebay’s seasonally changing gardens. Built in 1846 by Hanson Chapline, Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum was originally an eight-room farmhouse. The Wheeling Mansion went through seven different owners before it was purchased by Earl W. Oglebay in 1900. Mr. Oglebay made the mansion and its surrounding grounds his family’s summer estate, and he called the estate Waddington Farms. Upon his death in 1926, after many renovations and expansions of the mansion, he willed his estate to the city of Wheeling in order that it become a facility for education and recreation for the region. The mansion became a museum in 1930. Situated adjacent to the Mansion, the Oglebay Institute Glass Museum is a treasure house of sparkle and glitter. Featuring more than 3,000 examples of Wheeling Glass made from 1829-1939, the Glass Museum displays cut lead crystal, Victorian art glass, Peachblow, pattern and depression and Northwood’s carnival glass and many other glass examples showcasing Ohio Valley history. Also found at Oglebay Park is the Good Zoo, a living museum of animals for kids and adults of all ages. The zoo, aside from the animals, houses a large model-train exhibit and a working train to carry zoo goers around the grounds, offering views of the animal exhibits. Every visitor to the Mountain State will enjoy viewing the largest piece of cut lead crystal ever made - the Sweeney Punch Bowl. Five feet tall and weighing 225 pounds, this crystal treasure is world famous - a remarkable masterpiece of Victorian glass. The Glass Museums is one of the few places in our region where the beautiful art of glass making can still be observed and experienced by beginners. Crystal, carnival, colored and opalescent glassware made by the Ohio Valley glass manufacturer H. Northwood & Company is the focus of this new display of valuable glass in the Northwood Gallery. The Henry Stifel Schrader Environmental Education Center , located on the grounds of Oglebay Park, is of interest to those concerned about Earth and its environment. Also of note are the butterfly garden and the walking trails throughout the property. In Wheeling, the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley offers youngsters the opportunity to play, discover and learn as they work their way through a cavalcade of exhibits, designed to explore different interests and themes. The Sedgewick House can be found in Martins Ferry. Established by the Martins Ferry Area Historical Society in 1970, it houses historical artifacts pertaining to Martins Ferry and the surrounding area. A quick trip north to Steubenville finds historic Fort Steuben, which provides history, educational and cultural programs on the site of an 18th century military fort. The Bellaire Toy &?Plastic Brick Museum offers many unique exhibits, including life-sized lego statues.
 
 

 

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