My state , West Virginia, is beautiful and has a plethra of interesting facts and history that most of the country has no idea about. Our history is rich as any state and even five miles from my home is the cite of the famous Civil War raid led by John Brown in scenic Harpers Ferry, also the location where Thomas Jefferson wrote the famous passage involving the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Here are some other cool and interesting facts you may not have known about the great state of West Virginia.
1. For many years West Virginia was a leading manufacturer of the coal industry and is still one of the larger suppliers in the business. Entire towns were built around the mining business, the most famous being Coalwood, WV home of Homer Hickam, author of the amazing memoir, “Rocket Boys.”
2. Contrary to it’s name the New River is actually one of the oldest rivers in the world and one of only a handful in the United States that actually runs South to North. This is caused by its formation happening before the surrounding mountains in the area.
3. West Virginia hold the record of having the longest bridge in the continental United States. The New River Gorge Bridge, located in Fayetville, is a steel arch bridge that reaches an amazing 1,815 foot length crossing the New River Canyon.
4. Greenbrier Springs Hotel and Resort is a famous spa located in White Sulphur Springs and was originally used as an Army hospital. The springs located in Greenbrier have long thought to posses the power to cure various ailments and illnesses.
5. The first capital of West Virginia was located in Wheeling, Ohio County, but was later moved to Charleston. Later the location was switched back only to be later relocated again back to Charleston. Washington Hall located in Wheeling is known as the birthplace of West Virginia. The total cost of final construction in 1932 was nearly ten million dollars.
6. Point Pleasant is home to one of the most infamous paranormal cryptid creatures knows around the world, known as Mothman. This man-sized creature with wings was known to inhabit a nearby abandoned power plant and military bunker and was seen as a bringer of doom. The most famous event following sightings of this creature was the collapse of the Silver Bridge that killed many people, two of which were never found.
7. The very first golf club in America was founded in West Virginia in White Sulphur Springs. The traditions held there continue today with over 1,884 members registered to the now famous club.
8. The very first free rural mail delivery system was begun in my hometown of Charles Town on October 6, 1896. When seeing the effectiveness of this process the system then spread to the rest of the United States.
9. Outdoor advertising began in West Virginia in Wheeling in the year of 1908. The first advertisers were Block Brothers Tobacco Company, painting their logo and name on the side of barns and bridges statewide. This now nationally recognized advertisement read,”Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch.” Thiese advertisements can be seen in some locations throughout the state to this day.
10. Famous actors, athletes, and brilliant scientists have come from West Virginia. Some you might not have known include Peter Marshall, Chuck Yeager, Mary Lou Retton, Don Knotts, Kathy Mattea as well as several others.
Learning these interesting facts makes me proud to be from the great state of West Virginia. While I may choose to move other places in my life this wild, wonderful state will always be my home. If you ever need an interesting place to visit give West Virginia a shot.
WV Department of Commerce- Fun Facts
WV State Senate- Fun Facts About WV
For more great information and reading about WV from this author, check out:
Things to Know Before Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Mothman: An Omen of Trouble