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Discover America

West Virginia
( The Mountain State )
West Virginia Map 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: Randy Moss,

The Flag of West Virginia
West Virginia state flag 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)

West Virginia Travel - Vacation Destinations & Recreation
National parks and historic locations suitable for family vacations or day trips.

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge - Davis
Morgantown Lock And Dam - Monongahela River - Morgantown
Stonewall Jackson Lake - Weston
Bluestone Lake - Hinton
Winfield Lock And Dam -- Kanawha River - RED HOUSE
capital  Capital: Charleston

statehood  Statehood: 1863-06-20

population  Population:
1,808,344 (75.1 mi2)

geographic area   Geographic Area (mi2)
    Total 24,229.76
    Water 152.03
    Land 24,077.73
    Rank 41st Largest

education   State Education:
    Pub & Prv Schools
    College & University

border states   Border States: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia

state health   Health Information:
    Illicit Drug Use

housing   Housing: In West Virginia, there are 844,623 housing units, averaging to 35.1 per sq mile.

Posters and Artwork
Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
Art Print 18" x 13"

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Data Sources: US State Department, DOS IIP, and NetCent Communications' Development.