The Cure for Cabin Fever
By Lindsey McGlaughlin
Nestled in the stunning Appalachian foothills just two hours from northeastern Ohio, you’ll find Oglebay–West Virginia’s most popular recreation destination offering affordable getaways and a multitude of amenities thanks to a Cleveland business tycoon who purchased a stately mansion and farmland in Wheeling, West Virginia more than 90 years ago.
To fully appreciate this hidden gem, it’s important to first have a little background. The resort’s property was gifted to the people of Wheeling by Cleveland industrialist Earl Oglebay, who willed his beloved 2,000-acre Waddington Farm to the people for public recreation. Oglebay died in 1928 and the rest, as they say, is history, as the property would evolve into a major travel destination in the years to come.
Across the picturesque, rolling hills of Oglebay Park you’ll find something rather unique: 54 quaint cottages offering modern amenities with rustic charm. For generations, families and friends from across the country have affectionately called Oglebay’s cottages their second home.
Originally quite rustic, the first cabins, the Ash, Beech and Chestnut, were constructed in 1938 from recycled telephone poles donated by a utility company. At that time, there weren’t any blueprints, and the size of the cabin was determined by the size of the logs.
By the 1980s it was time for a refresh and Oglebay launched an aggressive, decade-long cottage rebuilding initiative. At that time, the term “cabin” was replaced with “cottage” to better align with the new, modern amenities that were incorporated with the new designs.
In 2019, nearly 40 years after the first overhaul, Oglebay embarked on yet another cottage renovation project to keep pace with changing styles and guest needs. “When looking at the re-design concepts, we wanted to balance the essence of Oglebay’s history, the warm woods and fireplaces, with the addition of modern amenities that would give our customers the level of comfort they were looking for,” said Wilson Lodge General Manager Beth Whitehouse.
Kelvington Cottage was the first to undergo a total transformation thanks to generous contributions to the Oglebay Foundation. Built in 1973, Kelvington has become a well-loved destination property for thousands of guests, and the design team embraced the importance of maintaining the cozy, cottage charm guests know and love. To that end, Kelvington Cottage was transformed into a modern, more sustainable version of its original design.
To date, nearly 80% of Oglebay’s cottages have been revitalized to include modern furnishings and amenities. Recent improvements include: new flooring, enhanced lighting, dishwashers, gas fireplaces, updated electronics, natural stone countertops, and refreshed décor.
Six- and eight-bedroom cottages along Oglebay’s Spidel Golf Course remain the most popular choice for golf groups and large families, with most cottages being rented year after year by families who can trace their history with the park back decades.
According to Whitehouse, guest comfort and satisfaction are the guiding light for every design and renovation project the park undertakes. “Offering all the comforts of home, along with the modern amenities and excellent customer service our guests have come to expect is the most important selling point we can offer.”
For additional information about Oglebay’s recently-renovated cottages, visit www.oglebay.com or call 877-436-1797.
Oglebay Cabin Rentals