West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville to Present Talk on Wheeling’s Mount Wood Cemetery


MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its monthly lecture and film series at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 30, when Rebekah Karelis discusses “Documenting and Restoring Wheeling’s Mount Wood Cemetery.” The program is free and open to the public.

The Mount Wood Cemetery is the final resting place for some of Wheeling’s most well-known historical personalities, including Noah Linsly, who founded the Linsly Military Institute; William C. Rhodes, founder of American Legion Post #1; William Marsh of the Marsh Stogie Company, and members of the Stone family (Stone and Thomas department store); McLure family (McLure Hotel); and Sinclair family (Sinclair Oil Corporation).

The cemetery dates back to 1848 and is located on top of Wheeling Hill, overlooking the Ohio River Valley and the Wheeling Creek Valley. It is the oldest cemetery in the city limits, and time, neglect and vandalism have taken their toll on the property. Karelis, historian and collections manager at the Wheeling National Heritage Area (WNHA), is leading a grassroots effort to come to the aid of the site. Community groups are repairing headstones, setting them upright, cleaning grime off inscriptions and carvings and recording inscriptions before they are obliterated. Last year more than 100 headstones were reset  and repaired during volunteer weekends.

Karelis is a native West Virginian, and has lived in the Ohio Valley for the last nine years. Her background is in public history and building preservation. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s in public history and cultural resource management. Karelis has worked for the WNHA since 2006. The organization works to preserve the rich history of Wheeling, including its status as the birthplace of West Virginia during the Civil War.

For more information about the lecture, or other events at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or email her at andrea.k.keller@wv.gov.

Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features the largest conical burial mound in the New World and ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. The Delf Norona Museum, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue,  is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Monday.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


MEDIA NOTE: A photograph of volunteers replacing a stone box tomb cover  at Mount Wood Cemetery is attached.


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