Celebration of the Opening of
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad

Wheeling Intelligencer
January 12, 1853

Yesterday morning dawned upon thousands who had come by steamboats, by coaches, on horses and on foot, from near and far, to participate in the commemoration of one of the greatest works of the age - the completion of an unbroken link connecting the Chesapeake with the waters of the Ohio.

At an early hour the streets were thronged with a multitude of all ages, sexes and conditions, which was increased by the successive arrivals of various steamers crowded with passengers. Among them we noticed the steamer Wm Knox, with a large number of the citizens of Marietta, and the American Star, with a handsomely uniformed company, the "Steubenville Grays," commanded by Capt. Webster. This company and the Bridgeport Artillery, commanded by Capt. Grubb, presented an imposing appearance in our streets.

By noon a dense crowd was assembled along the line of the track in Centre Wheeling, as far as the eye could see, awaiting the arrivals of the cars.

At 2 o'clock the military, and the First Ward Hose and the Hope Fire Companies formed into line, and were conducted by the Marshals to the line of the track on the south side of the creek. In the morning a dispatch was received, announcing that the cars had reached Cumberland in the night, and might be expected here at 3 or 4 o'clock which they would undoubtedly have done, had not a slight accident, news of which was received last night by the arrival of the mail train, caused a delay of several hours. It was the breaking of an axle-tree of the locomotive, which caused the detention, but no injury to any of the passengers.

Last night the Suspension Bridge was brilliantly illuminated along its entire length with 1010 lights, and its long curve of radiance stretching in mid air against the "dark vaulted heavens," looked really like a triumphal Rainbow spanning the storms which have beat in vain against its majestic form.

8 1/2 o'clock P. M. - The mail train has arrived with about 50 passengers, mostly from Baltimore.

5 MINUTES OF 2 O'CLOCK, A. M. The first train of passenger cars has arrived, and several hundred of the citizens of Baltimore have been conducted to the McLure House, led by Capt. Holland's Band of Independent Blues, whose soul-stirring music peals out upon the morning air, which wafts back a heart-felt welcome from all our citizens.

The formal reception of the President and Directors of the Road, and the City's guests, will take place at the Court House to-day at 11 o'clock.