Preservation is Red, White and Blue Fun

Photo by Maureen Zambito This wonderful barrel is a real treasure and came for South Wheeling’s famous Schmulbach Brewer.

The South Wheeling Preservation Alliance invited me to speak to their group a few weeks back and I was happy to chat with members and meet guests interested in antiques and preservation. This neighborhood group is a strong example of what grassroots preservation work is all about.

They have done so much to make their historic neighborhood proud and are an inspiration to many.

Club leader Ginger Kabala asked me to stop and present to the group. I’ve known Ginger for a while and met her at various antiques activities, including a trip to Antiques Roadshow in Charleston, W.Va. a few years back.

She is a South Wheeling transplant, by the way but there could be no more passionate supporter of her neighborhood than Ginger.

She is supported by other enthusiasts in organizing the group including Brother John Byrd, who resides in South Wheeling and is a collector, history buff and preservation enthusiast as well.

The South Wheeling group began back in 2007, and it even has a small museum located at 3501 Jacob St. (just across the street from Goodwin’s podiatry office) that includes educational displays of products once made in South Wheeling such as Hobbs, Brockunier glassware, La Belle cut nails, Wheeling Tile, Schmulbach Brewery and Mail Pouch advertising.

This mini-museum and the South Wheeling Preservation Alliance office is open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays, from April through November. The group’s meetings though are held off-site at Trinity Lutheran Church (3536 Eoff St.) on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Many immigrant families relied on South Wheeling industries to support their families and took great pride in their work and craftsmanship. All of these Wheeling manufacturer names are well known by collectors across the nation and sought after on eBay, in antiques shops and at auctions daily.

The preservation alliance is active throughout the year, sharing the history and promoting current events in the neighborhood and across the city of Wheeling.

They welcome guests from other neighborhoods, too.

Not long ago when I was on one of my long walks through Wheeling that I take with a friend of mine from North Wheeling, we walked past the beautiful Schmulbach Brewery building. It still looks impressive, though it is hidden from most people due to the obscure location on 33rd and McColloch streets, near W.Va. 2 South.

South Wheeling is a hub of activity supporting neighborhood pride in the past and hope for the future. Every neighborhood benefits from this kind of genuine support and many others, like my own neighborhood of Warwood with its group Grow Warwood Pride, is finding ways to show some love for home.

I promised the South Wheeling group I’d mention one of their upcoming fundraisers that is taking place on Tuesday, July 16 at Undo’s in Benwood.

All diners eating at Undo’s from 5-9 p.m. that day will benefit the group since Undo’s has generously agreed to donate 15 percent of all sales during those four hours to the South Wheeling Preservation Alliance.

You don’t need a coupon, just dine at the Benwood restaurant during these hours and you donate!

There also be a 50/50 raffle and basket raffles to support.

Preservation is such a patriotic activity and offers a concrete way to support our beautiful city, state and the good old USA, so join South Wheeling and your own neighborhood in sprucing up, preserving the past and building a robust future.

For comments or suggestions on local treasures to be featured in Antique of the Week, Maureen Zambito can be reached via email at zambitomaureen@hotmail.com or by writing in care of this newspaper.

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