|West Virginia websites about places to go, things to do, vacation information, sports links, facts about the state, destinations, golf, business, and more. West Virginia's nickname is the Mountain State and its motto is "Mountaineers Are Always Free."
West Virginia's spectacular mountains, swirling rivers, and scenic countryside offer a welcome change of pace from the rush of everyday life. The state is noted for its natural beauty, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its labor history. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, caving, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and hunting.
Tourism is increasingly popular in mountainous West Virginia. More than a million acres have been set aside in 37 state parks and recreation areas and in 9 state forests and 2 national forests. Major points of interest include Harpers Ferry and New River Gorge National River, The Greenbrier and Berkeley Springs resorts, the scenic railroad at Cass, and the historic homes in the Eastern Panhandle.
West Virginia is considered the southern most northern state and the northern most southern state. West Virginia is the only state in the Union to have acquired its sovereignty by proclamation of the President of the United States. Charleston has been the center of state government since 1885 when voters chose to have the capital relocate there from Wheeling.
Today, the state ranks second in total coal production, with about 15% of the U.S. total. It is also a leader in steel, glass, aluminum, and chemical manufactures. Major agricultural commodities are poultry and eggs, dairy products, and apples. A variety of the yellow apple, the Golden Delicious, originated in Clay County. The original Grimes Golden Apple Tree was discovered in 1775 near Wellsburg. Stone that was quarried near Hinton was contributed by West Virginia for the Washington Monument and arrived in Washington in February 1885.
The world's largest sycamore tree is located on the Back Fork of the Elk River in Webster Springs. Nearly 75% of West Virginia is covered by forests. Jackson's Mill is the site of the first 4-H Camp in the United States.
One of the nation's oldest and largest Indian burial grounds is located in Moundsville. Its 69 feet high, 900 feet in circumference, and 50 feet high. An inscribed stone was removed from the vault and is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Some famous individuals from West Virginia include: Pearl Buck (author), Peter Marshall (television host), Chuck Yeager (test pilot /Air Force General), Don Knotts (actor), Mary Lou Retton (Olympic gold medallist for gymnastics), and Kathy Mattea (country music singer).
Mothers Day was first observed at Andrews Church in Grafton on May 10, 1908. The first rural free mail delivery was started in Charles Town on October 6, 1896, and then spread throughout the United States. West Virginia was the first state to have a sales tax. It became effective July 1, 1921.
Outdoor advertising had its origin in Wheeling about 1908 when the Block Brothers Tobacco Company painted bridges and barns with the wording: "Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch." The worlds largest shipment of matches (20 carloads or 210,000,000 matches) was shipped from Wheeling to Memphis, Tennessee, on August 26, 1933.