Martins Ferry (pop: 7,226) is located north of Bridgeport/Wheeling, in Belmont County. Martins Ferry sports an active, rather large downtown and is the largest city in Belmont County. A part of the 150,000 Wheeling Metropolitan area, Martins Ferry is Ohio's oldest permanent settlement, in 1779. It was once part of the city of Wheeling, West Virginia and eventually separated in 1785. It was unincorporated for over 50 years (thus, Marietta can claim that it is Ohio's oldest city) until 1835, when Ebenezer Martin redesigned the town and created a grid. The town was then named after his family. This city has wonderful historical sites and areas.