( The Mountain State )
In 1861, Virginians in the northwestern part of the state defied Virginia's secession from the United States. The region chose to remain in the Union and form a new state. West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state into the Union in 1863, after conditions requiring the gradual emancipation of slaves had been met. The state motto is "Mountaineers are always free", and West Virginia lives up to its nickname of the "Mountain State". With an average altitude of 1,500 feet above sea level, it's the highest of any state east of the Mississippi River. For a long time, West Virginia was a leading producer of coal in North America, but many people left to pursue better employment opportunities. That trend has turned around, and now the state's economy is in a more stable condition. West Virginia, in the Appalachian Highlands, has some of the most rugged land in the United States. The state has very few large areas of level ground, except for strips of valley land that lie along the larger rivers. Forests of valuable hardwood trees grow on the mountain slopes and vast mineral deposits lie under the ground. Beautiful scenery, mineral springs and a variety of wildlife attracts tourists, campers, hunters and fishing enthusiasts.
Some of the famous celebrities that were born in West Virginia include:
The Flag of West Virginia|
Entered the Union in 1863 as the 35th State; flag adopted in 1905, modified in 1907 and 1929. The big laurel, the State flower, frames the shield of the State seal. The hunter and miner stand over a motto meaning "Mountaineers Are Always Free."
Largest Cities in the State|
(2000) Charleston, 53,421; Huntington, 51,475; Parksburg, 33,099; Wheeling, 31,419; Morgantown, 26,809; Weirton, 20,411; Fairmont, 19,097; Beckley, 17,254; Clarksburg, 16,743; Martinsburg, 14,972
Business and Trade in West Virginia
Agriculture: Cattle, dairy products, poultry, apples.
Industries: Cattle, dairy products, poultry, apples.
State Symbols and Emblems
- Bird: Cardinal
- Flower: Big Rhododendron (rhododendron maximum)
- Tree: Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)
- Song(s): West Virginia, My Home, Sweet Home
The West Virginia Hills
This Is My West Virginia
- Motto: Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Are Always Free)
1,808,344 (75.1 mi2)
Geographic Area (mi2)
Rank 41st Largest
Pub & Prv Schools
College & University
Border States: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia
Illicit Drug Use
Housing: In West Virginia, there are 844,623 housing units, averaging to 35.1 per sq mile.