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Weirton, West Virginia
City of Weirton
Peter Tarr Furnace Site, c. 1790
Peter Tarr Furnace Site, c. 1790
"Gateway To The Valley"
Location of Weirton in Hancock and Brooke Counties, West Virginia.
Location of Weirton in Hancock and Brooke Counties, West Virginia.
Country United States
State West Virginia
Counties Hancock, Brooke
 • City 19.27 sq mi (49.91 km2)
 • Land 18.05 sq mi (46.76 km2)
 • Water 1.22 sq mi (3.15 km2)
755 ft (230 m)
 • City 19,163
 • Density 994.45/sq mi (383.95/km2)
 • Urban
70,889 (US: 389th)
 • Metro
116,903 (US: 334th)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 304
FIPS code 54-85156
GNIS feature ID 1555932

Weirton is a city in Brooke and Hancock counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located primarily in Hancock County, the city lies in the northern portions of the state's Northern Panhandle region. As of the 2020 census, the city's population was 19,163. Weirton is a principal city of the Weirton–Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 116,903 residents in 2020. Additionally, Weirton is a part of Greater Pittsburgh, the 24th largest combined statistical area in the United States.


The small village called Holliday's Cove — which is now most of downtown Weirton — was founded in 1793. (It eventually lost the apostrophe.) In 1909, Ernest T. Weir arrived from neighboring Pittsburgh and built a steel mill later known as Weirton Steel Corporation just north of Holliday's Cove. An unincorporated settlement called Weirton grew up around the mill that, by 1940, was said to be the largest unincorporated city in the United States. By then Hollidays Cove and two other outlying areas, Weirton Heights and Marland Heights, which as their names suggest were on hilltops or ridges surrounding the "Weir–Cove" area, had also incorporated.

Hollidays Cove Fort was a Revolutionary War fortification constructed in 1774 by soldiers from Ft. Pitt. It was located in what is now downtown Weirton, along Harmons Creek (named for Harmon Greathouse), about three miles from its mouth on the Ohio River. It was commanded by Colonel Andrew Van Swearingen (1741–1793) and later by his son-in-law, Captain Samuel Brady (1756–1795), the famous leader of Brady's Rangers. In 1779, over 28 militia were garrisoned at Hollidays Cove. Two years earlier, Colonel Van Swearingen led a dozen soldiers by longboat down the Ohio to help rescue the inhabitants of Ft. Henry in Wheeling in a siege by the British and Indian tribes in 1777. That mission was memorialized in a WPA-era mural painted on the wall of the Cove Post Office by Charles S. Chapman (1879–1962). The mural features Col. John Bilderback, who later gained infamy as the leader of the massacre of the Moravian Indians in Gnadenhutten in 1782.

Weirton Marland Heights
Weirton's Marland Heights neighborhood.

On July 1, 1947, all of these areas — Hollidays Cove, Marland Heights, Weirton Heights, and unincorporated Weirton — merged and formed the city of Weirton as it currently exists. Thomas E. Millsop, the head of the Weirton Steel division of the other Ernest T. Weir company, National Steel Corporation, was elected as the city's first mayor. The city charter was approved by voters in 1950.

Also home to Weirton is the Weirton Steel Corporation which was once a fully integrated steel mill employing over 12,000 people. It was the largest private employer and the largest taxpayer in West Virginia. This is no longer true. Due to reorganization of the steel industry, not only within the United States but worldwide, the Weirton plant, now part of the international giant Arcelor Mittal, currently operates only the tin-plating section of the mill (though still one of the country's largest tin-plate makers), with only 1,200 workers. During the early 1980s the employees of Weirton Steel endeavored to purchase the mill from National Steel Corporation as the largest ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) in the nation, saving the mill from bankruptcy.

Some civic leaders are attempting to attract businesses and homeowners from the neighboring Pittsburgh metropolitan area, marketing Weirton as a bedroom community, taking advantage of the close proximity to the Pittsburgh International Airport and major interstates.

Weirton is home to a number of sites on the National Register of Historic Places including: Johnston-Truax House, Marland Heights Park and Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool, People's Bank, Dr. George Rigas House, and the Peter Tarr Furnace Site.


Veterans Memorial Bridge
The Veterans Memorial Bridge connects Weirton to Steubenville, Ohio across the Ohio River and is the border crossing between the states of West Virginia and Ohio on U.S. Route 22.

The city of Weirton is located at 40°25′N 80°35′W / 40.417°N 80.583°W / 40.417; -80.583 (40.41, −80.58). It extends from the Ohio border on the west to the Pennsylvania border on the east at a point where the northern extension of West Virginia is five miles across. Therefore, it is one of only two cities in the United States that borders two other states on two sides, and its own state on the other two sides, the other being Hancock, Maryland.

Weirton is across the Ohio River from Steubenville, Ohio, and about 35 miles west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along U.S. Route 22. Pittsburgh International Airport is less than 30 miles away. With the opening of Pennsylvania Route 576 from US 22 to the airport in October 2006, the highway distance to the airport has decreased to about 20 miles.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.26 square miles (49.88 km2), of which, 18.05 square miles (46.75 km2) is land and 1.21 square miles (3.13 km2) is water.

Surrounding areas

Follansbee, New Cumberland, Paris, Pennsylvania, and Steubenville, Ohio (via U.S. Route 22)


Climate data for Weirton, West Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 75
Average high °F (°C) 36
Average low °F (°C) 20
Record low °F (°C) −22
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.85
  • Annual Average High Temperatures: 82 °F (summer) 40 °F (winter)
  • Annual Average Low Temperatures 60 °F (summer) 25 °F (winter)
  • Highest Recorded Temperature: 102 °F (1988)
  • Lowest Recorded Temperature: -22 °F (1994)
  • Warmest Month: July
  • Coolest Month: January
  • Highest Precipitation: June
  • Annual Precipitation: 40.55 inches


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 24,005
1960 28,201 17.5%
1970 27,131 −3.8%
1980 24,736 −8.8%
1990 22,124 −10.6%
2000 20,411 −7.7%
2010 19,746 −3.3%
2020 19,163 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

By 2011, the city and its two counties had attracted the attention of the New York Times which noted the town was dwindling in population. The article reported that Brooke County had just 71 live births for every 100 deaths and that Hancock County was in similar straits. This has led, the article claimed, to a reduction in civic institutions.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 19,746 people, 8,839 households, and 5,507 families living in the city. The population density was 1,094.0/sq mi (422.4/km2). There were 9,645 housing units at an average density of 534.3/sq mi (206.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.7% White, 3.9% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 8,839 households, of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.7% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the city was 46 years. 19.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23% were from 25 to 44; 30.8% were from 45 to 64; and 20.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

Popular culture

Weirton was the subject of a photo essay, "Weir's Weirton," in the Life issue of September 13, 1937. The issue's front cover featured a portrait of Ernest Tener Weir.

Weirton has attracted the attention of Hollywood filmmakers and writers on several occasions:

  • Weirton was one of several Ohio Valley towns that served as film locations for the acclaimed 1978 film, The Deer Hunter, starring Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep.
  • Six years later it served as the primary location for filming of Reckless starring Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah.
  • The movie Super 8 was filmed in downtown Weirton, as well as many other places throughout the town, in late September to mid October 2010. The town stood in for the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio.
  • Disney featured Weirton briefly in its documentary, America's Heart and Soul. During the excerpt, employees of Weirton Steel discuss their concerns with foreign imports and what it is doing to the size of their mill.
  • Weirton was also the inspiration and guidance in the 1989 book No Star Nights. According to the author biography included in the book, author Anna Smucker drew upon her memories growing up in Weirton for a tale about childhood spent in an industrial town.
  • In the novel The Egyptian Cross Mystery, Ellery Queen spent some time in Weirton while investigating a murder in the small village of Arroyo, West Virginia.


Weirton Hospital
Weirton Medical Center

Historically, Weirton's economy, as well as that of the region, was dominated by the steel industry, with the biggest employer being ArcelorMittal.

Over the years as the steel industry declined, the local economy has become more diversified, with retail services and medical services recording the largest increases.

Weirton Medical Center is a large 238 bed hospital that services patients from all over the region, and is one of the city's largest employers today employing over 1,000 people.

Due to the area's close proximity to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there is also a growing number of workers who work in Pittsburgh and commute from Weirton.

Notable people

  • James J. Andrews - Union spy during the Civil War (Hollidays Cove
  • Bob Gain - football player, Cleveland Browns ('52–'64); 1950 Outland Trophy winner (U. Kentucky)
  • Jerry A. Hausman - noted economist at MIT and developer of the Hausman specification test
  • Bob Jeter - football player, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, 3-time NFL champion
  • Gary Jeter - football player, New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots
  • Kevin Miller - football player, Minnesota Vikings and Birmingham Stallions
  • Mike Rodak - football player, Cleveland Rams, Detroit Lions, and Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Karen Staley - singer-songwriter
  • Ernest T. Weir - founder, National Steel Corporation
  • Ronald Robert Williams - "Fritz" basketball player, West Virginia University, San Francisco Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Quincy Wilson - football player, West Virginia University, Cincinnati Bengals

See also

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