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Our journey will begin at the top in the Northern Panhandle (see map)...."a very good place to start".


Colored sections represent the counties in that area.


The first stop will be

CHESTER

which is located at the tip of the panhandle. This is home to the Mountaineer Racing and Gaming Resort, so get ready for some fun. There's live thoroughbred racing,





as well as simulcast racing from across the country.

If that's not your thing, never fear... There's also over 1000 machines challenging you to try your luck at the video slots, blackjack, poker, and keno.


Still not for you?

Then you can play golf or tennis



(This guy's making me tired.)


or just lounge around one of two outdoor pools.

There is one more thing we gotta see before leaving. Chester, West Virginia is home to the world's largest teapot. It is 14 feet in diameter and approximately 14 feet high.




In 1938, William "Babe" Devon constructed this teapot out of a gigantic wooden hogshead barrel for a Hire's Root Beer advertising campaign. It stood in front of Devon's pottery outlet store where teenagers ran a concession and souvenir stand which was set up inside the teapot. It's had a few different owner's, but in 1984 the C&P Telephone Co purchased the land it was on. It was in danger of being destroyed, but citizens fought to save it. C&P Telephone donated it to the City of Chester. It was restored, repainted it's original red and white colors, and was officially dedicated on October 12, 1990.




Although we won't be visiting Newell, WV., I did want to mention it as being home to the Homer Laughlin China Company.




This company came into it's own after winning a competition in 1876 for producing chinaware that rivaled the whiteness of the European potteries. Its brightly colored Fiesta pattern became it's most collected pattern..(developed in 1935). Collectors are always on the look out for this original pattern.


FYI.......On our way to Wheeling, we will be passing through Wellsburg, another town that had no fewer than five glass companies operating in it's heyday. BROOK GLASS COMPANY is the only remaining one still in operation today.



Last, but not least, we will be passing through Bethany, WV. home to Bethany College



and it's founder, Alexander Campbell.



On to WHEELING.


WOW! We're here and the first place I want to go is to the



Capitol Music Hall.


Built in 1928, this is WV's oldest and largest theater, and is a classic example of the grandeur of early theaters. Home to JAMBOREE USA, many big name stars have performed here on a Saturday night.




OGLEBAY RESORT


Oglebay's 1650 acres are comprised of public parks, a mansion, three golf courses, garden center, greenhouse, nature center, outdoor ampitheater, 217-room lodge, 50 cottages, seven specialty shops,(whew),

....not to mention the Good Zoo that for the first time in it's history, will be featuring WHITE TIGERS.






"On the road again, can't wait to get on the road again".....
oops, sorry, I have a tendency to sing when we're driving....next stop will be..

MOUNDSVILLE

Some three thousand years ago, the Native Americans, or the Adena, began to build huge earthen mounds. They were the first to be called "mound builders".
The Grave Creek Mound Historic Site is the largest one of two National Historic Landmark archaeological sites in West Virginia.





It's construction required the moving of 60,000 tons of dirt, carried in baskets, without the use of wheel or horse. (It probably took 100 years to complete.)
Excavators have found skeletons, shells, ornaments, stone tools, etc. It is believed that people of rank were buried here.

These mounds, as well as being burial sites, were also used as centers of worship. More than three hundred mounds remain in West Virginia today.

Before we leave Moundsville, there's one more place that is a must. It's the
West Virginia Penitentiary




This neo-Gothic stone structure was built in 1866, and was "not a nice place to be", in the words of a former prison guard who now guides tours thru the damp, musty interior of the prison. At times, there were as many as 2,357 prisoners living here at one time, sometimes two or three to a five by seven foot cell.

The prison was closed in 1995.
During the tour, you will see some pin-up calendars the inmates used..I'm sure to mark off their time. Also on the tour is "Old Sparky", the electric chair used before West Virginia banned capital punishment.

As we leave this establishment, I'm sure we will all be feeling a sense of relief at knowing that we do not have to spend the night here. Whew!!!