Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ryan Stanton's History of Wheeling WV Blog

Ryan P Stanton writes The Bell Rang blogspot and describes his domain in the subtitle, conversations with a student of history, education and junkism. Okay so what's what's with that name Ryan? Wait a minute let me think about it... Hey it's clever actually. The name shows the passage of time, and suggests an institution, a school. This blog is after school work?

This kid is Dumpdiggers new best friend. Not only is he a shining example of a new breed of collector, a web savvy, super literate relic hunting storyteller rising from the bowels of the internet, he's also a smart and friendly guy that's just agreed to run the Dumpdiggers ARENA Photo Battle Widget in the sidebar of his blog! And it looks great on the white background too.

Stanton is twenty five years old, a Taurus born in the year of the Rat, he favours education and is employed as a history teacher somewhere near Wheeling, West Virginia. He blogs about Wheeling a lot, which is cool, but he does something else that Dumpdiggers love...

Peruse Ryan Stanton’s Flickr photo galleries, to find awesome 'before and after' image sequences of historic locations. Ryan is good about walking and standing in the exact spot to capture the original angles. I wish Flickr had a Taylor dissolve unit so I could see the pictures dissolve into each other – check this out:

And now click here to see the Old Stone House Today. My personal favourite is a recreational adventure post about hiking around The Hempfield Tunnel and Viaduct. Ryan's style hints at something more - he leaves so many interesting story hooks unexplored.

Ryan is proud of Wheeling and its overall contribution to America. His pride shows in posts like The National Bank of West Virginia

And deep inside a remarkable post detailing an old Map of Wheeling West Virginia, Ryan quotes an article that reads, Wheeling's ideal geographic location was well suited for manufacturing, excellent transportation facilities, and cheap fuel (coal and gas). Iron, steel, coal, glass, manufacturing, textile, and retail - Wheeling had it all. Wow! Suddenly this Dumpdigger wants to know a whole lot more about this place.

Ryan’s stories hint at deeper mysteries that hopefully he’ll explore later in life. Dumpdiggers would like to know more about the rise and fall of Coon Island. When discussing the early map of Wheeling, Ryan writes For example, today, you will never find Coon Island on a map because it hardly exists. A small mining or gas community, all that remains of Coon Island is the row of houses that at one time represented something to do with the company. Dig behind them young man, dig up the stories behind those houses and share them with us.

Tell us more about McCollough's famous leap in 1777, Ohio River freight traffic, National Road toll houses, the old Stone House at Roney's Point, the Hobbes, Brockunier & Co. glass works, and the Wheeling Public Library (Wheeling was denied a Carnegie library). And the world will recognize The Bell Rang blog as the first and best online deposit of Wheeling’s immense and fascinating history – Wheeling’s contribution to America.

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