Weirton, W.Va. (WTRF) – By all accounts, the snowstorm of 1950 was a rough one.
The torrential amount of snow completely shut down Weirton, in a time when communication was far more limited than it is now.
But one transportation service made sure life didn’t grind to a halt during that miserable winter.
The bus line actually kept the cities connected, kept people going to work.Savannah Guz, Executive Director, Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center
That was the Pittsburgh Weirton Bus Company, a name that still resonates with the town’s residents after years of inactivity.
From 1931 to 1978, it was a daily sight for anyone walking through Brooke and Jefferson Counties, carrying shoppers to the store and workers to the mill.
The bus was actually the lifeblood of Weirton, and it took people to Pittsburgh, it took people to Steubenville.Savannah Guz, Executive Director, Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center
After the system shut down, this bus ended up in a salvage yard near Akron.
The advertising on its side was scraped off, and years of sitting out in the elements turned some of its cream-and-blue color scheme to rust.
That wasn’t the end of the story for P&W No. 99, however.
The Weirton Area Museum rescued it in 2019 and moved it across the street from their building.
So her memories wouldn’t be lost to the ravages of time and weather.Savannah Guz, Executive Director, Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center
Their next step is to give it a permanent home, away from the rain that’s pelted it all this summer.
They’re holding a banquet this month to raise money for a new shelter.
It will allow for Number 99 to be both repaired and displayed, and will feature the traditional company colors that the bus itself still faintly displays.
The bus banquet is helping us to raise funds to create that restoration space, that museum annex and a safe place for our volunteers to help restore her.Savannah Guz, Executive Director, Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center
And the nostalgia is already drawing in Weirton-ites young and old to the project.
Local companies have given their time and talents to give the bus new tires and marine batteries.
The hope is that it will be restored to a point where it can be driven in parades—and a documentary on its
history is already in the works.
Guz calls the bus a powerful symbol of the Weirton community, one that can’t be scraped off or rusted away.
There are a lot of people who have stories related to the bus that we’d like to start telling.Savannah Guz, Executive Director, Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center
The fundraiser will be held on August 26th at the Serbian Picnic Grounds.
You can go to weirtonareamuseum.com/bus to help add another chapter to the story of Weirton.