Local History Winter Lecture Series

colorful painting of the great stone viaduct

In a joint effort to promote awareness of the rich Ohio Valley history, The Bellaire Public Library and The Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society are once again teaming up to sponsor the Local History Winter Lecture Series.  This well-attended lecture series is now in its fourth year.  Lectures are scheduled each Wednesday during the months of February and March at 6:00 p.m. in the library’s community room. Light refreshments are also provided.

Schedule: (Click on "Read More")

February 3rd : Joe Roxby kicks off the lecture series with the topic of the legends of Fort Henry.

Roxby is a Wheeling native.  He attended Wheeling Central High School and West Liberty College.  He graduated from WV State Police Academy in 1983 after which he served as a Police Officer for 25 years, achieving rank as Lieutenant.  He is a freelance writer, a published local historian, and a staff writer for "Precision Shooting Magazine".   His work includes a promotional video about Forty Henry Days as well as a screenplay proposal entitled, "Betty Zane: Legends of Fort Henry.   He is currently employed at the City of Wheeling Finance Department as the Magistrate of Ohio County.

February 10th:  Margaret Brennan will follow Joe as guest speaker with the topic, "The Wheeling Hospital During the Civil War".  Margaret is a native of Wheeling. She received her B.A. in History from Wheeling College and an M.A. in History as well as a certificate in Public History from West Virginia University.  She has taught high school social studies and worked in archival administration. Her current interests include Civil War History, Irish History, and slavery and the Underground Railroad.

February 17th:  Jay Morris will be presenting  “Movies Made in the Ohio Valley and Western Pennsylvania”.  He will show clips of favorite films shot in and around the Ohio Valley throughout the decades. Morris will relate some interesting background and stories surrounding their production.

February 24th :  Richard Phillips will  present, "Arthur St. Clair, The Invisible Patriot" which is also the title of his new book.  It is an historical commentary about the mostly unreported life of one of our greatest patriots and founding fathers. Phillips is a "Clevelander" who first learned his trade as corporate communications manager and magazine editor for a Fortune 500 and then headed the PR Dept. for a Cleveland ad agency. He was recruited to build a PR Division for a Phoenix ad firm and during the next 25 years eventually opened his own PR-Media Advocacy firm. He and his wife moved to the Ohio Valley 8 years ago to be nearer to family and to begin researching and writing for newspapers and magazines about pioneers and patriots who influenced the area.

March 2nd:  Jeanne Finstein and Judi Hendrickson will present, "Talk of the Town: Local Scandals That Made the News"

Murder and mayhem, embezzlement and insanity … these stories give a fascinating glimpse of Wheeling area history, featuring names such as Schenk, Lias, Swint, and Krishna. The names are real; the stories are true, and they were certainly the talk of the town.

Judi Hendrickson and Jeanne Finstein are local historians who enjoy discovering and sharing interesting pieces of the past, particularly Wheeling history. They are the authors of a book on local history, “Walking Pleasant Valley,” and are long-time, active members of the historic preservation organization, Friends of Wheeling.

March 9th: Tony Paree's passion for Victorian Trade Cards led him to write the book, "Victorian Trading Cards", which is the topic this week. The first book of this kind includes illustrations of these small cards and the history of the Wheeling companies and merchants from long ago.  Tony is proud to say that he has always lived in Wheeling, except during his five years in the military in nearby Benwood, WV.  Being in retail for 45 years at the Crone's Men's Store in Wheeling, Tony acquired a passion for these small trade cards. The purpose of the book is to show tribute to these companies and merchants. 

March 16th: Dave Mertz will speak about "Restoration of Old Stone Structures".

Prof. DAVID R. MERTZ continues to serve as the director of the Building Preservation/Restoration Program at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, OH, a post he has held since the program's inception in 1989.   The Belmont Program is seen as a national model for trades-based technical education in historic preservation and has been copied across the country.  Mr. Mertz has been an active participant in the development of historic preservation on a local, state and national level.  He has served four years as Chair of the National Council for Preservation Education, the consortium of colleges and universities that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in historic preservation, and four years as Chair Emeritus.   He has served on the advisory board of the Preservation Leadership Institute of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the editorial board of Preservation Forum, the nation’s scholarly journal on Historic Preservation and has authored numerous articles in national publications relating to trades education.  He has served as a board member and vice-president for both Heritage Ohio and the Ohio Preservation Alliance, Ohio’s two state-wide preservation non-profits.  Mertz currently serves as President of the Preservation Trades Network and was awarded the 2014 Askins Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the Preservation Trades.  He is a graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelors and masters degree in architecture and a certificate in Regional & Community Planning.   Mertz lectures frequently on building pathology and American architectural history. 

March 23rd: Roger Micker will speak about the notorious abolitionist, John Brown

Micker is a resident of Wheeling.  He is a graduate of West Liberty State College and a retired  teacher at Steubenville Big Red High School.  He is a member of the Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable, Friends of Gettysburg, Ohio's Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, Ohio's Graduation Testing Committee, and Ohio's Historical Connections.  He is a re-enactor and contributing writer for the Ohio Civil War 150 website.  He has given presentations at Gettysburg, Antietam, Harpers Ferry, and Stones River.