When the state of Virginia voted to secede from the United States during the Civil War (1861-1865), the people of the state’s rugged and mountainous western region opposed the decision and organized to create their own state, West Virginia, in support of the Union.
Congress granted the state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. The town of Harpers Ferry in West Virginia was the site of John Brown’s ill-fated 1859 raid on the federal armory there.
Although Brown’s plan to arm a large-scale uprising of enslaved people with weapons from the armory ultimately failed and Brown was hanged, the raid succeeded in fueling white Southern fears of insurrections and heightened rising tension between Northern and South prior to the Civil War.
Today, West Virginia is a major coal-producing state, supplying 15 percent of the nation’s coal. The New River Gorge Bridge at Fayetteville is the longest steel arch bridge in the world.
Each October, the city hosts a Bridge Day celebration when the road is closed to traffic and individuals are allowed to skydive and bungee jump from the bridge; the event attracts nearly 100,000 participants and spectators each year.
Famous artists such as actor Don Knotts, gymnast Mary Lou Retton and test pilot Chuck Yeager were born in West Virginia.
West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, and Pennsylvania and Maryland to the northeast. The capital of West Virginia is Charleston.
West Virginia is divided into two distinct regions: the Allegheny Plateau in the western part of the state and the Appalachian Mountains in its eastern part. The Allegheny Plateau covers nearly two-thirds of West Virginia’s land area and includes a number of large rivers, including the Ohio River, Kanawha River, Monongahela River, and Cheat River. This area is characterized by rolling hills and deep valleys with many streams running through them.
The Appalachian Mountains cover most of West Virginia’s eastern border and are home to some of its highest peaks. Mount Porte Crayon is located in this region at an elevation of 4,863 feet above sea level and is considered one of West Virginia’s four “high points” along with Spruce Knob (4,861 ft), Hawks Nest (3,360 ft), and Seneca Rocks (2,200 ft). Other notable mountain ranges in this region include Allegheny Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley Mountains, Cumberland Plateau Mountains, Coosa Mountain Range, Great North Mountain Range, Great Smoky Mountains National Park range ,and Dolly Sods Wilderness Area range.
West Virginia has several major rivers running through it including: Ohio River which forms much of its northern border; Monongahela River which flows from Pennsylvania into West Virginia; Kanawha River which flows from near Charleston; New River which flows from North Carolina into West Virginia; Gauley River which flows from near Summersville; Greenbrier River which flows from near White Sulphur Springs; Cheat River which flows from near Parsons; Tygart Valley River which flows from near Elkins; Elk Creek which runs through southwestern West Virginia; Potomac River which forms much of its eastern border with Maryland and Washington D.C.; Big Sandy Creek which runs through southeastern West Virginia; Shenandoah Valley Region river system that includes both South Branch Potomac & North Branch Potomac Rivers as well as many smaller tributaries throughout western & central WV.; Little Kanawha & Big Sandy Rivers that form much of its southwestern border with Kentucky & Ohio respectively.
The climate in West Viriginia varies depending on location within the state but generally consists of humid summers with temperatures reaching up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit during peak months along with cooler winters dipping down to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit during peak months as well as snowfall throughout most parts during winter months. Average annual precipitation ranges between 30-50 inches per year across most parts while average snowfall accumulations can reach up to 60 inches per year across some areas such as mountainous regions or more northern parts like Morgantown or Fairmont respectively.
West Viriginia also has a variety of wildlife species including white-tailed deer, turkey, black bear, red fox, gray squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, mink, muskrat & beavers amongst many other species found throughout various ecosystems within WV ranging from forests & mountainside woodlands all way down to wetlands areas like those found around Chesapeake Bay watershed or even those found along portions along Ohio river valley.
In conclusion, West Viriginia has a diverse geography consisting primarily of two distinct regions: The Allegheny Plateau in its western part & Appalachian mountains region in its eastern part. Its terrain features rolling hills & deep valleys alongside numerous major rivers such as Ohio river & Potomac river. It also features a wide variety climates ranging from hot summers up north all way down cool winters along southeastern parts. Additionally, it contains variety wildlife species ranging from white-tailed deer all way down beavers amongst many others found throughout various ecosystems within WV making it great destination for outdoor enthusiast looking explore natural beauty this beautiful state has offer.
Cities in West Virginia
Below are the top 15 cities by population in West Virginia. For all cities and towns in the state, please see West Virginia cities list.
Charleston is the capital of West Virginia and is one of the top cities in the state. It provides a unique mix of urban amenities, natural beauty, and cultural attractions. The city has an impressive array of parks and recreational areas, as well as an array of museums, galleries, and performing arts centers. Visitors can explore the city’s history at the Capitol Complex or take a stroll through its vibrant downtown. There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Charleston such as shopping, dining out, or visiting one of its many historic sites. Additionally, there are several excellent universities located in Charleston such as West Virginia University and Marshall University.
Morgantown is another great city in West Virginia with a population over 30,000 people. It is located in Monongalia County and offers a combination of small-town charm and big-city amenities. The city has numerous parks for outdoor recreation and education opportunities at West Virginia University’s main campus which is located here. Morgantown also features several excellent restaurants that offer delicious local cuisine as well as entertainment venues like live music venues and theaters. The historic downtown area offers unique shops to explore while also providing a glimpse into Morgantown’s past with its many historic buildings still standing today.
Counties in West Virginia
The State of West Virginia consists of 55 counties. They are:
- Barbour County, West Virginia
- Berkeley County, West Virginia
- Boone County, West Virginia
- Braxton County, West Virginia
- Brooke County, West Virginia
- Cabell County, West Virginia
- Calhoun County, West Virginia
- Clay County, West Virginia
- Doddridge County, West Virginia
- Fayette County, West Virginia
- Gilmer County, West Virginia
- Grant County, West Virginia
- Greenbrier County, West Virginia
- Hampshire County, West Virginia
- Hancock County, West Virginia
- Hardy County, West Virginia
- Harrison County, West Virginia
- Jackson County, West Virginia
- Jefferson County, West Virginia
- Kanawha County, West Virginia
- Lewis County, West Virginia
- Lincoln County, West Virginia
- Logan County, West Virginia
- Marion County, West Virginia
- Marshall County, West Virginia
- Mason County, West Virginia
- McDowell County, West Virginia
- Mercer County, West Virginia
- Mineral County, West Virginia
- Mingo County, West Virginia
- Monongalia County, West Virginia
- Monroe County, West Virginia
- Morgan County, West Virginia
- Nicholas County, West Virginia
- Ohio County, West Virginia
- Pendleton County, West Virginia
- Pleasants County, West Virginia
- Pocahontas County, West Virginia
- Preston County, West Virginia
- Putnam County, West Virginia
- Raleigh County, West Virginia
- Randolph County, West Virginia
- Ritchie County, West Virginia
- Roane County, West Virginia
- Summers County, West Virginia
- Taylor County, West Virginia
- Tucker County, West Virginia
- Tyler County, West Virginia
- Upshur County, West Virginia
- Wayne County, West Virginia
- Webster County, West Virginia
- Wetzel County, West Virginia
- Wirt County, West Virginia
- Wood County, West Virginia
- Wyoming County, West Virginia