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Wheelwright- A Look At Perfection Past and Future

A Glorious Time

Apartment Hill

Apartment Hill

So Long Ago...

It seems like ages since a resident of this city could go to the store or visit a friend without having to lock their doors. You used to be able to park your car and leave the keys in the ignition. Those days are gone but we still hold to the fact that we can bring them back if enough people care. Wheelwright's past has lit up history books and created a stir that is worthy of a Lebron slam dunk at clutch time but it is the present that still suffers. I felt that I would show some aspects from the past that are still achievable as well as some photos that I recently acquired and felt my readers may enjoy.

Some of these shots are rather rare and I hope that they bring a smile to not only the face of former residents but to those of us who remain hopeful that Wheelwright can be great again. Just because the streets are dirty today does not mean they have to be tomorrow and just because the ruling body reeks of sly decisions does not mean we can't fight those choices.

The Fall of the Clubhouse

Not my first choice but maybe...

Love Each Other

At one point that cherished command from the only son of God was a mainstay in Wheelwright life. People genuinely wanted to help each other and see their friends and neighbors succeed as much as they wanted to see it for their selves. That passion has left a lot of the areas of the city. Do not get me wrong, there are still a great deal of people who show this compassion for their fellow citizens but the overall community seems to have abandoned a lot of that thought process over the years. Distrust entered by the mining corporations and poor decisions on so many fronts have lead a lot of citizens to just keep to their own and that has really been damaging to the community.

There was a time when the city prospored on the idea that if help was needed you gave it. People never helped just to get something in return or to gain personal popularity, it was done out of respect and love. That idea needs to be brought back and while right now it is still in the hearts of some of the city's finest it is still lacking in higher places where it needs to change.

The days of walking the sidewalk and stopping to speak to a person have just about gone away but that is something that we need to keep fresh. That one person you speak to may have their whole day changed because you showed care enough to speak to them.


Bathhouse then.

Bathhouse then.


Now what remains

Now what remains

Preserve The Memory

If we forget a memory we in a sense leave the past to fend for itself. I look around this city time in and time out on a few different terms. I view it through the eyes of a firefighter, looking for safe routes and hazards. I view it as the president of the historic society, always wondering how I can improve it for the preservation of the past. I also view it as a city commissioner which makes me want to put each building to a good use. All of these hats come together to form the love and hope I have for this city.

We have numerous structures that are still able to serve the community if some effort would be put into them for some good. I see the bath house that at one point was in my ownership. I made the decision to return it to the city in hopes they could use it for the good of the community. It now stands falling apart and nothing has even been mentioned of what it might serve as. It is this lazy way of thinking that has knocked a lot of that perfection we knew and loved in the olden days back and put in this state of complacency that is destroying the town.

Hard work was once a way of life here and now it is only an after thought to what we may have to do if we can not get someone else to do it for us. I look at all of the homes that have suffered major burn damage and still they stand as a reminder of how time seems to be at a standstill in the city of Wheelwright. These structures could be torn down and new ones put up and rented out as low income dwellings or even houses for newcomers to the city. I see so much potential for the city that it hurts sometimes when my voice is not heard at the higher levels of city leadership.

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Behind the Clubhouse

Land like this should have been utilized better.

Land like this should have been utilized better.

Yugioh Games Bring in People

Events Make It Memorable

Wheelwright once stood as a swinging hotspot with so much to do. Now there is very little by way of recreation. Parks are gone, theaters stripped of equipment. I applaud the fine people who have reopened the skating rink in the city. It is things like this that could generate a hope that we have not seen in so long but one that is vital to the future growth of the city. I look at how we can use existing mining trails for adventure tourism. Let's use the love of ATV's and outdoors to fuel our economy and bring in activities that sway youth and adult alike from a harder lifestyle looking toward drugs and alcohol for relief. We have the ability.

I look at how we can use what we have to create a better city. Wheelwright's history is legendary and known worldwide. That factor has fueled the growth of so many communities over the course of time and with a little work it could fuel the growth of our small haven once again. The library in town has tried to help with this offering movie nights, story time and even yugioh tournaments that allow for kids and adults alike to benefit from the building and the services we can offer. Things like this are key steps to bring that age old perfection back. Sure we may never see an age again in which Wheelwright is booming like a bigger city but we can see an age where it is not crumbling around itself.


A Theater is not impossible.

A Theater is not impossible.

Bowling Ally

Recreation can restore some level of hope.

Recreation can restore some level of hope.

A Nice Day in Wheelwright

Calm and peaceful

Calm and peaceful

Where does hope begin?

Hope starts like a small fire burning unseen in a void. If it is left to itself it may burst into a flame but most likely will fizzle and fail. If that fire can reach material and ignite that than it can spread and grow. A small fire can become a burning inferno if the right situation exist. Hope is like that. One person can remain hopeful but until others start to feel the same way that hope may perish. The people of Wheelwright have allowed a lot of hope to leave and it saddens me that many feel they can never be hopeful again. I will admit the changes over the years have been devastating in a lot of regards and the financial stability of this once great town is suffering but that does not mean there is no turning back!

I see hope still alive. I see it in the faces of people who visit the museum here and fall in love with memories all over again. I see it in the kids who play ball at the new ball court. That new court may have seemed like a vote getter or a waste to some but to others it was a means of change in a positive direction. I can still see hope on the faces of the people who are stunned when a fellow citizen stops to talk to them or ask them how they are doing or help them change a flat tire. That is a powerful thing, hope. It can move a mountain if you let it.

I am in no way claiming that we can return to the olympic sized pool and the department store on every corner but I see no reason why we can't see a store in city limits or even a theater return to this great city. The sky has always been the limit for this town but in Wheelwright people had started putting the sky at a level so unreachable it grew dark. I want people to see the light. There are ways to fund projects to bring in a better way of life for this city.

It starts with one, but from that one many can spring up and then before you know it the city is primed and ready to fight to make it back to that state of perfection we once clung to so unknowing that it ever was going to go away. We accepted that Wheelwright was to fail but why did we accept it? We surely did not have to but I think it was the easier option at the time. Failing is no longer an option in my book. It is time to bring this place back together and restore the morality and ideas that fueled it to success in the days gone by.

So for my friends in the city when you walk by that old building and you calmly think of what an eyesore it has become I ask you think in terms of what it could be given the right attitude and motivation. When you see a person struggling to get their groceries in from the rain, stop and help them. The rewards are not just good feeling but in the end that attitude will be contagious and catch on. It will spread and soon others will do as you did and good deeds might replace bad thoughts and backbiting. I assure you it is possible to see some level of perfection return to the city of Wheelwright.

Visit the Wheelwright Historic Society

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