Second Ward Market House (1822-1911)
Wheeling’s first market was built at this location in 1822 and consisted of a town hall on the second floor and a market that operated twice a week on the first floor. For many years prior to the Civil War, hundreds of enslaved persons were sold at the market . The market was demolish in 1911 and was replaced by the Market Auditorium shortly after.
Backstory and Context
The Second Ward Market House was building to accommodate the growing commercial economy in Wheeling which was quickly outgrowing the city’s original market, located at the east end of the Wheeling suspension bridge. Local landowner and entrepreneur Noah Zane donated the land to the city for the purpose of building a larger public market. Vendors rented the eight stalls on the first floor while the second floor served as the first home of Wheeling's City Hall. Prior to the Civil War, hundreds of enslaved persons were sold outside of the market on the corner of 10th Street. The market was replaced in 1911 with the Market Auditorium which was demolished in 1964. The market was expanded several times in the 19th century, growing to a total of 76 stalls.
In 1911, the original building was torn down and replaced with the much larger Market Auditorium building in 1912. This new building was significantly larger and housed both market space and an auditorium. The building was designed to hold around 3,500 people with 64 indoor stalls and 23 outdoor spaces for venders. Like the original Second War Market House, this building had a second story with office space. The Market Auditorium was demolished in 1964.
Market House (Second Ward). Ohio County Public Library. Accessed December 16, 2018. http://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/wheeling-history/5473.
Market Auditorium. Ohio County Public Library. Accessed February 16, 2019. http://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/wheeling-history/3797.