West Virginia is known as coal mining country. It is also the first place to have a brick road. The first brick street in the world was laid in Charleston, West Virginia, on October 23, 1870, on Summers Street, between Kanawha and Virginia Streets. Do you love your mother? The city of Grafton is the home to the first observation of Mother’s Day. And one of the first suspension bridges in the world was completed in Wheeling in November 1849.
Coal production is not the only thing the state is known for. It was the first state to have free rural mail delivery and the first to impose a sales tax. It became effective July 1, 1921 and is still going strong. A naval battle was fought in West Virginia waters during the Civil War. United States Navy armored steamers were actively engaged in the Battle of Buffington Island near Ravenswood on July 19, 1863.
Many facts hover above the state of West Virginia. Here are a few that stick out like a star in the sky.
- 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.
- The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville is the second highest steel arch bridge in the United States. The bridge is also the longest steel arch bridge (1,700 feet) in the world. Every October on Bridge Day, the road is closed and individuals parachute and bungee cord jump 876 feet off the bridge. Its West Virginia’s largest single day event and attracts about 100,000 people each year.
- The world’s largest sycamore tree is located on the Back Fork of the Elk River in Webster Springs.
- Daniel Boone made his last survey of Charleston on September 8, 1798. He left the state in 1799.
- The first glass plant in West Virginia was at Wellsburg in 1815. The first pottery plant was in Morgantown in 1785.
Visiting this place at least once should be on every list. Moving here is just a bonus!