Having grown up in Wheeling, their paths crossed a number of times. Amy Stauffer and Bob Mead didn’t know each other then, but both attended Oglebay summer day camps during their grammar school years. Amy points out it was a more innocent time as she took two city buses (Elm Grove to Woodsdale and Woodsdale to Oglebay) by herself every day. Camp was held at the Craft Center which is now the Hess Shelter. The children started their day doing crafts or reading in the Story Tower (the former dairy barn silo, now the starting point for the Aerial Challenge Course) then after lunch walked to the Crispin pool for a swim.
During junior high Amy was a cheerleader for Bridge Street Grade School and Bob played basketball for its big rival Woodsdale. Bob points out that’s when he first noticed Amy, but “one couldn’t date an opposing team’s cheerleader. It was necessary to wait until the season was over.” They met formally in 1952 at the end of 8th grade during a friend’s birthday party held at Wheeling Park.
As high school sweethearts Bob and Amy both worked at the park. Amy checked clothes at the Oglebay pool lockers before being promoted to cashier. Bob’s career started as a ball boy at the WV Open Tennis Tournaments. Later on he worked for Henry Hupp stocking the Crispin Center’s snack bar and waiting tables both at the Pine Room and the outdoor amphitheater.
The couple attended numerous dances at Wheeling Park’s White Palace and the Pine Room during their high school and college years. They graduated from WVU in 1960, after which Amy began her teaching career at Bridge Street and Bob completed a stint in the US Army. They held their wedding reception in October 1961 in Wilson Lodge’s Betty Zane Room. The Meads left Wheeling in 1963 and returned twenty years later. During that time they resided in Cleveland; Long Island; Pittsburgh; Lafayette, CA; northern New Jersey and Lewiston, NY. “We experienced Central Park in New York City, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and other major metropolitan parks. But there is nothing quite like Oglebay. Knowing Oglebay was waiting for us made our return an easy decision,” Bob stated. On October 7, 2021, Bob and Amy celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at the Pine Room with family and friends.
The family sports nine generations of Wheelingites (arriving in 1772) and four generations of Oglebay aficionados. In honor of this long history the family is making gifts to renovate and endow Speidel Cottage #4. In addition to Bob and Amy’s bequest, contributors include Bob’s sister Mary Mead Boxley Utt, her daughter Martha Creasey and son Ab Boxley III, all of Roanoke, VA; Bob’s sister-in-law, Mary Jane Mead, widow of his late brother Charlie, and their daughters Helen Snyder and Beth Snyder all of Charlottesville, VA; and daughter Laura Weatherall of Wellesley, MA; brother A. Davis Mead of Englewood, FL; as well as Bob and Amy’s sons Bob Mead Jr. of Wheeling, WV, and Charlie Mead III of Dillon, CO.
Thanks to the family’s generosity and love of Oglebay, the Speidel Cottage will be named the Mead Cottage when the renovations are completed this summer – a great romance indeed.