WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)

Major Samuel McColloch made his famous leap from Wheeling Hill in 1777.

What happened to McColloch’s horse from the famous leap off Wheeling Hill?

The monument was erected in 1917.

Since then, its sandstone base has eroded and traffic patterns have changed, leaving the monument barely noticeable.

In fact, when you mention it, most people confuse it with the Indian statue, which is not related.

So the plaque is getting some attention of its own.

The plaque is so corroded you can barely see McColloch’s image.

And the ground beneath is not solid, in fact, it’s not ground.

“A cantilevered structure is holding up the ground that we’re standing on right now,” said Jay Frey, president of the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution), Fort Henry chapter.

So the plaque is eventually going to be moved across the road to an area that’s more visible and viewer-friendly.

First it will be cleaned and sealed.

“Once that’s done, it will look like a brand new bronze but it’ll still be the existing one that was dedicated 100 years ago,” said Jason Weiss of Boswell Rock of Ages in Wheeling.

It will be mounted on a more stable base, because at its current location, it could go the way of McColloch!

“It could,” noted Frey. “McColloch survived the leap but I don’t know that the monument would survive collapse. When you’re up close you can see daylight where the mortar should be.”

The work removing the plaque was tedious.

The city partially closed the road.

It required a lot of chipping to get the plaque detached from the monument.

But it’s worth it, to continue to tell the story that should never be forgotten.

“Major McColloch was pursued from two directions by native warriors during the first siege of Ft. Henry in 1777, and he had the wherewithal to coax his horse to slide down to the creek bed from the top of Wheeling Hill, no small feat,” concluded Frey. “He was a patriot.”