Zane Log Cabin in Wheeling
Generally considered to be the first building in Wheeling, this cabin was thought to be built in 1769 by Ebenezer Zane. Legend has it that this is the cabin to which Elizabeth Zane made the run for gun powder during the siege of Ft. Henry, September 11, 1782. The cabin was demolished around 1908.
The Wheeling Intelligencer published on Wednesday, July 15th, 1908:
An historic landmark, probably one of the most important remaining in West Virginia, has been removed. The demolition of the Betty Zane cabin, located on Market alley, between Main and Market streets, was completed yesterday, negotiations for the purchase of the place by the local chapter of the Daughters and Sons of the Revolution having fallen flat.
Offers to Mr Feinler were far below the value of the ground occupied by the historic old cabin. It is understood that a number of offers were made by private parties who hoped to secure the property and sell it to the City or state for a large sum.
Many public spirited citizens of Wheeling extensively discussed the advisability of purchasing the property and presenting it to the city to be retained and preserved as a memorial of Wheeling’s early days and the stirring times of Indian warfares. Their offer for the property, however, is said to have been, far below its real value.
Work is soon to be started on a handsome new brick structure that is to replace the old relic.
The famous old building will not be lost to history, however, as M.r Feinler has artfully stored away the logs and in fact every visage of the structure. Many additional relics, bearing out the theory that it was without doubt the original Betty Zane cabin or “powder house,” were discovered when the workmen were excavating in the crude foundations.
Mr. Feinler will begin work on the new building as soon as practicable. It will be a three-story brick structure. The first floor will be used as a business house, and the second and third for flats. The plans will be prepared by Architect Leiner. The brickwork contract has been awarded to Contractor Hamilton and the woodwork will be done by McDonald Brothers.
On Saturday, May 18th, 1946, the Intelligencer further reported:
Wheeling’s early history is inseparably tied up with Betty Zane’s girlish heroics and one Andrew Christian Maximilian Hess, is seeing to it that the remaining vestige of her sojourn here are preserved for posterity.
When it became known that the logs from the original Betty Zane cabin, which stood for years and years in the Stone & Thomas alley, were stored in an old residence in North Wheeling; a house that was to be razed for the building materials it contained, Andrew bought them and turned them over to Oglebay Park.
The timbers are about 18 inches wide and four inches thick and are excellently preserved, being of walnut. Just what disposition of them will be made at the park is not determined at this time, but they will likely be utilized in a special Betty Zane room for one of the buildings in Oglebay’s blueprints for the future. There are too few of the Zane logs to reconstruct a complete cabin. During the years, some of the cabin’s original logs were used for making gavels for various organizations.
In the July 2, 1976 Bicentennial edition of the Wheeling News-Register/Intelligencer, the newspaper reported:
"The cabin, located in Stone's Alley, was dismantled about 1910, the logs stored by Mrs. Gibson Caldwell, later by Andrew C. M. Hess. They were presented to Oglebay Park when Wilson Lodge was built and today are an integral part of the Betty Zane room there."
➤ The cabin was located at 22 Lane 7 between 10th and 11th Streets and Main and Market, in what is now often referred to as Stone's Alley.