Located just south of Wheeling, the city of Moundsville abounds with activities for the entire family: shopping, dining and history combine to make this small town worth a short trip off the interstate. Whether it’s fine dining in a Mexican restaurant, standing atop a majestic Native American burial mound, or seeing a ghost in the former West Virginia State Penitentiary, Moundsville has something to offer for everyone. What’s more, it can all be done on even the most limited budget, an important asset in these troubled economic times.
For shopping, Moundsville offers a number of unique opportunities. A stroll along Jefferson Avenue will show you the wide variety of quaint shops located in this little town. Country Lane Crafts, Uniquely Yours, and Home Towne Candles provide a wide variety of home furnishings and nifty decor to complement your home. If you prefer larger stores, Moundsville has several shopping plazas featuring such stores as Big Lots, Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, and many more. So wander around. You might be surprised what you find.
History truly comes alive, with three notable museums/historical attractions: the former West Virginia Penitentiary, the Fostoria Glass Museum, and the Grave Creek Mound Archeology Complex. The Penitentiary, though closed as an operating prison, nevertheless offers visitor’s a gripping glimpse into the lives of its former inmates. Of particular interest is the electric chair known as “Old Sparky,” which was actually constructed by an inmate. The prison hosts several special events every year, and is also open during the week for tours.
Across from the street is the Grave Creek Mound Archeology Complex. Featuring exhibits, an art gallery, and most of all the mound itself, this glimpse into the life of the Adena people is definitely worth viewing. The exhibits on the upper floor give visitors an idea of what life would have been like for women and men living 2000 years ago. What’s more, admission to the museum is free. When you’re done with the history portion, pay a visit to the gift shop to pick up a souvenir of your visit.
If you love the artistry of glass and the genius of toy-making , then a visit to the Fostoria Glass Museum and the Marx Toy Museum is for you. Located just across the street from the Marshall County Courthouse (and up the street from the Mound,) the Fostoria Museum is home to several exhibits of gorgeous glass. Exhibiting pieces from the glory days of the Fostoria Company (which once employed more than 1,000 people,) the Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in glass. A couple of streets away is the Marx Toy Museum, which features not only original toys from years gone by, but also molds, prototypes, and a guided tour.
Is your stomach growling? Fortunately for you, Mounsdville offers a wide variety of dining experiences. The Guest House Restaurant, located along Route 2, features a variety of home-cooked meals, all at reasonable prices, while Acapulco, also located on Route 2, offers a wide variety of delicious Mexican dishes. Do you like Chinese? Not to worry; Moundsville also has a Chinese restaurant. Pizza shops, chain restaurants (including McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King,) and many others ensure that no one will go home hungry.
Care for a stroll to burn off those calories? If so, then visit Grand Vue Park, located in the hills just outside the city. The park offers many amenities including: a miniature golf course, walking trails, cabins, and a Par 3 golf course. The breathtaking views make this a must-stop for anyone wishing to breathe the fresh mountain air and take in the magnificent vistas of the valley.
If you can, visit Moundsville during one the many festivals that occur throughout the year. The Elizabethtown Festival, held every May The Festival, held inside the walls of the Penitentiary, features exhibits, crafts, entertainment, and doll and bear display. The Marshall County Fair, held every July/August, features numerous rides, livestock exhibits, and live entertainment.
Despite its small size, Moundsville has much to offer the visitor to the Ohio Valley. Shopping, history, and fine dining intertwine to make a fantastic visitor’s experience. What’s more, the city is constantly seeking to expand both commercially and culturally, including the renovation of the Strand Theater. With this constant expansion, Moundsville will continue to maintain its position as a wonderful place for visitor’s. So why not pay a visit the next time you’re in the area?