A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, AMISH, & ARCHAEOLOGY
West Virginia usually celebrates ARCHAEOLOGY month in October, and there are several archaeology and paleontology events. As of 2009, over 12,500 archaeological sites have been documented in West Virginia. The Grave Creek Mound is one of the largest conical type burial mounds in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Clover Site is a Fort Ancient culture archaeological site located near Lesage. It is significant for its well-preserved remains of a late prehistoric/protohistoric Native American village.
West Virginia has many BRIDGES including covered bridges and suspension bridges. The New River Gorge Bridge is the the 3rd longest steel arch bridge in the world and the 5th highest vehicular bridge in the world. Every October on Bridge Day the road is closed and individuals parachute and bungee cord jump off the bridge. Many bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in West Virginia
West Virginia has all forms of COMMUNICATION including, radio, and newspapers, magazine television. The state has two Area Codes. There are several Internet Service Providers, and Webcams are located throughout the state.
West Virginia has 55 counties. The county of Kanawha has the largest population and Wirt the smallest. Randolph is the largest county in area and Hancock is the smallest. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of government below the state government.
No rocks found in West Virginia are of the correct age to contain DINOSAUR fossils, but a variety of other fossils have been found. The Megalonyx Jeffersonii is the state fossil. CLICK HERE for dinosaur coloring pages.
Free public Public EDUCATION is provided and is compulsory from age 6 to 16. Schoolbug and Great Schools provide information about public schools in West Virginia. The state also has many private schools, and homeschooling is popular
A variety of EVENTS are held in West Virginia. The State Fair is held in Fairlea. There are also many County Fairs and a variety of other Fairs and Festivals. The state celebrates public holidays and other special days. Mother's Day was first celebrated in Grafton in May 1908.
The West Virginia State FLAG was adopted in 1863. It is white and the Coat-of-Arms is in the center with the date of admission and the State Motto. Above the coat-of-arms there is be a ribbon lettered, State of West Virginia and around the lower part is a wreath of the State Flower. The flag is bordered by a strip of blue on four sides. The state also has County & Municipal flags.
The FOOD timeline of West Virginia dates back to Colonial Days. One of the main meals of the early frontier families was stewed squirrel. Bear meat was also prized. Traditional West Virginia cooking is similar to Southern cooking, but is technically part of the Appalachian style of cooking, meaning that people ate what they could grow or catch themselves. The Pepperoni Roll was invented in West Virginia.The first Golden Delicious Apples were raised from a seedling that grew up by chance on a local farm in 1890 it is the Official State Fruit. There is an Apple Butter Festival in Berkeley Springs. The state has Food Festivals, Events, and Shows.
West Virginia has had many FORTS. Most of them have been destroyed and some of the forts are on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Ashby is the only standing unit in a chain of forts erectes by order of Col. George Washington during the French and Indian War. Fort New Salem is a living history outdoor museum. Prickett's Fort is now a State Park and has been reconstructed. Fort Randollph has been reconstructed about a mile from the original site.
West Virginia has many GHOST TOWNS. A string of 50 mining towns followed the New River Gorge. The old coal mining town of Eagle has some buildings and a population of less than 25. Layland has a few residents & some stone buildings. Sewell has some interesting remains. West Virginia claims to have many Haunted Places.
The GLOBAL POSTION of West Virginia is approximately 37-39 degrees latitude north and 77-39 degrees longitude west. The geographic center is Braxton County. The highest point is Spruce Knob and Harpers Ferry is the lowest. Geocaching is a high-tech sport using a Global Positioning System and West Virginia has many Geocaches. The topography of the state ranges from 240 ft to 4,800 ft.
The HISTORY of West Virginia dates back to 11,000 BC. The area now known as West Virginia was a hunting ground of Native American peoples before the arrival of European settlers. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various mound builder cultures survive. West Virginia was originally part of Virginia - one of the 13 original colonies. It became a state when it broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War. It was the only state to form by ceding from a Confederate state and was a border state. The state participates in National History Day.
West Virginia has a variety of INSECTS including many butterflies and moths. West Virginia has several creep bugs. The state has several species of spiders including the deadly Black Widow. The Rusty patched bumble bee may be be extirpated. The State Insect is the Monarch Butterfly.
Although West Virginia is landlocked it has many Islands on rivers. Sandstone Falls Islands has a waterfall that stretches between two islands Blennerhassett Island has a number of historic buildings. Virginius Island is part of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The Ohio River Islands are part of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge Wheeling Island is the most densely populated island in the Ohio River and one of the largest in the state.
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The most important event in the history of the West Virginia Judicial System occurred in 1974, when the voters ratified the Judicial Reorganization Amendment uniting all state courts, except municipal courts, into a single system supervised and administered by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. The amendment organized the judiciary into three levels: the Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit courts, and magistrate courts. In 2000, the voters passed a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to create separate family courts.
Many aspects of life in West Virginia focus on KIDS. The state had a Kids Page. The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources also has a Kids Page. The Association for Library Service to Children has a site of the week for kids. Kidzsearch lets kids from kindergarten to 8th grade choose what they want to do. NOAA has a special page for kids. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page.
Public LIBRARIES are located throughout West Virginia. The West Virginia University has 8 individual libraries located on various WVU campuses. The state has a Special Services Library for the blind and physically handicapped. West Virginia has a Poet Laureate and celebrates National Poetry Month.
West Virginia has MOUNTAINS knobs, and peaks. Spruce Knob is the highest point in the state and the summit of Spruce Mountain, the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains Range. It is the only state in the country located entirely within the Appalachian Mountain Range and in which all areas are mountainous. West Virginia claims to have some of the best Mountain Climbing on the east coast.
West Virginia has a variety of MUSEUMS. The Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling has toys & trains from every generation. The Childrens Museum of the Ohio Valley promotes and stimulates the intellectual and creative potential of children. The Heritage Farm & Museum creates and preserves Appalachian heritage.
The first inhabitants of West Virginia were NATIVE AMERICANS - Paleo-Indians. A succession of prehistoric cultures followed. Three of the original tribes were were the Cherokee, the Shawnee, and the Tutelo & Saponi. Most Native Americans were moved to Indian reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas in the 1800s.
Nearly 2 million PEOPLE live in West Virginia and residents are called Virginians. Many important important people have come from West Virginia including Booker T. Washington, educator, author, and orator; Stonewall Jackson, confederate general; Chuck Yeager, record-setting test pilot; Jon McBride, astronaut; Anna Jarvis founder of Mother's Day in the U.S.; and Pearl S. Buck, writer.
Take a QUIZ about West Virginia
West Virginia has 87 species of AMPHIBIANS and reptiles including salamanders, frogs and toads, turtles, lizards, and snakes. Venomous snakes include the Northern Copperhead and the Timber rattlesnake. Two species of salamanders are endemic to West Virginia: the Cheat Mountain salamander (a threatened species), and the West Virginia Spring Salamander. The State Reptile is the Timber Rattlesnake. The West Virginia State Wildlife Centerdisplays the wildlife in the state including both native and introduced species. The state has many Wildlife Management areas. The state is part of the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Program.
West Virginia has many RIVERS and creeks. Rivers includes streams formally designated as rivers. There are also smaller streams. Exclusive of major tributaries, there are about 46 named rivers in West Virginia. The rivers have traditionally provided transportation through the rough terrain of the Mountain State, first by Native Americans and later by European settlers. Today, the larger rivers transport large volumes of commercial goods, while the smaller ones provide recreational opportunities such as canoeing, fishing, swimming, and white-water rafting. The New River is one of the oldest rivers in the World and the oldest in North America. The river flows south to north, opposite from most rivers because it was formed before the mountains. The Elk River is the longest river which flows entirely within the boundaries of the state.
West Virginia has a variety of TRAILS including Horse Trails and participates in National Trails Day. The Monongaleha Trails are considered the best trails in the state. Four miles of the Appalachian Trail are situated in West Virginia though the Trail hugs the Virginia-West Virginia border several hundred miles farther south. The state also has a variety of Byways. The Midland Trail Scenic Byway is considered the best road trip in the state. West Virginia has several Roadside Attractions including an West Virginia has all forms of TRANSPORTATION and an an Adopt-a-Highway Program. The Department of Transportation is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating road, bridges, and tunnels in the state. West Virginia offers many special License Plates Designs. The Federal Highway Administration provides information about traffic and road closures in Virginia. The first steamboat was launched in the Potomac River in December 1787. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Matchbox Cars dedicated a vehicle for each state and for West Virginia it was the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
West Virginia has many species of TREES. The state has a Big Tree Program. West Virginia has several State Forests and 2 National Forests. The oldest State Forest is Seneca and The Monongahela is the largest National Forest. The State Tree is the Sugar Maple. The largest Sycamore Tree in the world is located on the Back Fork of the Elk River in Webster Springs.
Three Ships have been named USS WEST Virginia. The 1st USS West Virginia ACR-5 was a Pennsylvania-class Armored Cruiser. The 2nd USS West Virginia BB-48 was a Colorado-class Battleship. During the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, it was sunk in the shallow waters but subsequently raised and repaired. The 3rd USS West Virginia SSBN-736 is an Ohio-class submarine.
There is evidence that at one time West Virginia had active VOLCANOES. Mole Hill is the remnant of an ancient volcano. Ash deposits from ancient volcanoes are found in the eastern part of the state.
The WEATHER in West Virginia is subtropical. West Virginia has experienced several significant floods. The deadliest flood occurred in June 2016. The weather is provided by Weather Underground and NOAA. Information is available about Global Warming in West Virginia.
West Virginia has a variety of WILDLIFE. Several are listed as endangered including the Virginia big-eared bat, the Indiana bat, the Gray Bat, the West Virginia northern flying squirrel, and the newly extinct eastern cougar. The state animal is the Black Bear. The state has several Wildlife Refuges and has a Wildlife Diversity Program.
Time ZONES are established by the Coordinated Universal Time. The United States has several Time Zones. West Virginia is in the Eastern Time Zone and observes Daylight Saving Time. The state has several plant hardiness zones.