Wheeling Heritage Acquires Rare Book Collection for Library

Thanks to funding provided by the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation (Wheeling Heritage), the Ohio County Public Library has made a significant addition to its collection of rare books dealing with the early history of the Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley region.
When local steamboat historian, antiques dealer, and rare book collector John Bowman learned that Mr. Joseph Brian DaRe of Yorkville, Ohio was looking to find a new home for his extensive library of local history and anthropology books, Mr. Bowman contacted Wheeling Heritage to encourage them to consider acquiring the collection in order to give the books a local home. “Wheeling Heritage saw the invaluable resource that Mr. DaRe had assembled and wanted to preserve the collection through the purchase and donation to the Ohio County Public library,” Bekah Karelis, historian for Wheeling Heritage said. “The library’s Wheeling Room is the natural home for the collection and the collection will be made available for use by the public for research and educational purposes.”
Mr. DaRe meticulously assembled the collection over several years while studying anthropology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. The books are in excellent condition and were cared for diligently. Mr. DaRe decided to sell the books as he progressed into a new stage in his life and is very pleased that the collection will be kept intact and made available to future researchers.
Included in the collection of more than 120 books are numerous memoirs of Christian missionaries, soldiers and others who lived or interacted with local Indian tribes, including the Memoirs of the Rev. David Brainerd, Missionary to the Indians, 1822 and a Historical Account of Henry Bouquet’s Expedition Against the Ohio Indians in 1764, edited by William Smith and dated 1868. Also included are early editions of rare volumes such as History of the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of Western Virginia by Wills DeHass, published in Wheeling in 1851; The Olden Time by Neville B. Craig, 2 volumes, 1876; and Military Journal of Maj. Ebenezer Denny – An Officer in the Revolutionary War and Indian Wars, 1860.
The DaRe collection also includes 31 volumes on Indian rock art and archaeology, such as Rock Art of the Upper Ohio Valley by Felsbilder, North American Indian Rock Art by Wellmann, and Archaeological Atlas of Ohio by Mills.
“We are grateful to Wheeling Heritage and to Mr. DaRe for helping us to acquire this wonderful collection,” said Dottie Thomas, director of the library. “This material will help to make the library’s Wheeling Room collection an essential stop for any researchers interested in the history of the Upper Ohio Valley.”
The DaRe collection is housed in the Wheeling Room at the Library and can be accessed by appointment. Visit www.ohiocountylibrary.org or call 304-232-0244 for more information.