The ruins of downtown Wheeling, West Virginia. Nearly an entire block of historic buildings – some of them very recently occupied, has been cleared for parking and grassy lots. Across the street, more historic building stock was cleared earlier in the summer for more open space.

I listed some of the biggest population losses for major cities and towns; Wheeling was #4 on my list. I explored the city’s brewing history and how the passage of Yost’s Law helped kill the city of Wheeling. With the loss of the city’s biggest employers, a lag period of a decade left those jobless scrambling to find work – or to move on. By the 1930s, Wheeling’s population was starting its inevitable decline that has not stopped since.