Birth Amidst Civil War
West Virginia is the only state in the Union to have formed by seceding from a Confederate state. It was admitted to the Union during the Civil War, on June 20, 1863.
Home to the First Spa
Berkeley Springs, originally named “Bath,” is considered America’s first spa. George Washington, among other notable figures, visited the area for its mineral springs, known for therapeutic qualities.
Mother of Rivers
The state is often called the “Mother of Rivers” because the Potomac, James, Monongahela, Kanawha, and Ohio Rivers all have headwaters in its mountain highlands.
West Virginia is historically significant in coal mining, with the coal industry playing a crucial role in the state’s economy and culture. The state has even dedicated a Coal Heritage Trail for visitors interested in its rich mining history.
Outdoor Recreation Haven
The New River Gorge, with its stunning bridge, is a popular destination for white-water rafting and rock climbing. Every year, the bridge hosts “Bridge Day,” where BASE jumping and rappelling events attract thrill-seekers from all over.
A Maze of Caves
West Virginia contains numerous caves and caverns. The Lost World Caverns in Lewisburg, for instance, descends 120 feet below the ground and is known for its massive stalactites and stalagmites.
Golden Delicious Origins
The world-renowned Golden Delicious apple originated in Clay County, West Virginia. The original tree was discovered in 1905 and became a staple in apple agriculture.
A Hub for Glass
In the early 20th century, West Virginia was a significant center for glass manufacturing, producing marbles, art glass, and glassware that are now collectibles.
First Sales Tax
West Virginia was the first state in the U.S. to enact a sales tax. It took effect on July 1, 1921, initially designed to help lower property taxes.
The Tale of Mothman
Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is known for its legend of the Mothman, a mysterious creature reported in the 1960s. The town commemorates the tale with a Mothman statue and an annual Mothman Festival.
West Virginia, with its rugged landscapes and rich history, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, revealing surprises at every twist and turn of its winding roads.