By Scott McCloskey
WHEELING -- A Wheeling statue that stands as a "memorial to the pioneer mothers of the covered wagon days" is being restored for the first time since it was erected in 1928.
The Madonna of the Trail statue, located along National Road near the entrance to Wheeling Park, is undergoing a large-scale restoration, as time has taken a toll on the historic memorial.
Employees with Keystone Waterproofing of Greensburg, Pa., have been busy performing detailed work on the statue, including: Pressure washing, filling cracks and missing areas on the statue, applying clear water repellent and securing the surrounding retaining wall. Workers said they hope to have the project complete soon, weather permitting. The project was awarded through a bidding process to Allegheny Restoration and Building Corp. of Morgantown and subcontractor Keystone Waterproofing.
The restoration project, which is estimated to cost nearly $35,000, is being sponsored by the Wheeling Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp.
It is funded in part by the West Virginia Division of Highways' National Scenic Byway program, including a $1,000 gift from the Elizabeth Stifel Kline Fund and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.