Vet Voices

Underground vault outside The Bridge Tavern prompts speculation

Local News

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – At the Bridge Tavern, they uncovered something interesting when the dug up the sidewalk for a water line.

It’s a tunnel with a vaulted brick ceiling.

Now everyone’s wondering what it was and why it’s there.

When you dig up a sidewalk, you expect to find a lot of soil underneath, not a perfectly preserved empty space with a curved brick ceiling. This has left people wondering if it was a place to hide adult beverages during Prohibition.

The owner thinks it was a tunnel that went across the street.

The old Wheeling Hotel originally sat here and it was torn down to put the Downtowner in years ago. But, the old Wheeling Hotel was here and it was directly across the street from the Traction Company where they had confections and I think they sold some liquor at the time. We don’t really know. We’re speculating all this. But if you go downstairs in my basement, if you go in the other side of this domed brick vault, you’ll see it’s been closed off with concrete block.

Mike Carl, Co-Owner, Bridge Tavern

Area history buffs have told 7News there are quite a few of these underground vaults beneath Main and Market streets.

They believe they were for storage of perishables before refrigeration.

At The Bridge Tavern, they say they don’t know the answer, but it’s fun to speculate about.

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