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A 'Splash' of Vintage with Fun & Interesting Facts about West Virginia

July 5, 2022

Mountaineer News | The Editors

The Mountain State

Hey, Buckhannon!

Since it's another Vintage Buckhannon Throwback Tuesday, we decided to share this (throat-clear) 'vintage' ad produced and distributed via the West Virginia Department of Tourism.

WARNING: CORNY ALERT! (We're guessing it was produced in the 1980s?)

© WV Dept. of Tourism

Okay, so how well you know your WV state history? Find out with these fun & interesting facts about the Mountain State:

1. West Virginia is the only state that has ever been declared by the president of the United States its own independent State.

2. West Virginia was home to the first ever mother’s day celebration. It was first celebrated at Andrews Church in the city of Grafton on May 10, 1908. It was soon declared a national Holiday soon after.

3. The population of West Virginia has an average age of almost 42 according to the latest census figures of 2010.

4. 4-H is one of the most popular clubs in the country for young people. It got its start in Jackson’s Mill, West Virginia.

5. West Virginia is home of the very first sales tax in the United States. With such a small population, it was becoming harder to get the revenue needed for new infrastructure. So, the legislative assembly came up with the first 1 cent sales tax in US history.

6. One of the most iconic basketball games to take place was in Burnsville, West Virginia. Danny Heater scored 135 points in a high school game that got him a place in the Guinness book of world records.

7. The first federal correctional facility opened for woman in the state of West Virginia.

8. West Virginia has the country’s oldest governor to serve in office he turned 80 in 2003, the last year he was in office.

9. The New River Gorge in West Virginia is home to one of the largest steel archway bridges ever built in the US. Since, it is one of the highest there, is an annual attraction that allows individuals to use the bridge as a bungee point and parachute drop.

10. The first major battle of the civil war took place in the state of West Virginia. It was based out of the city of Philippi in 1861.

11. The nation’s largest and oldest Indian burial ground is located in the state of West Virginia. It is located in the city of Moundsville. The Indian burial plot stands 70 feet with and 900 feet in circumference. When it was first found there was a stone inscription explaining the sacredness of the area. That stone is now on display at the national Smithsonian Institute museum.

12. The state of West Virginia has one of the best mottos for a state. The state motto is "Mountaineers Are Always Free."

13. West Virginia is a very rocky and mountainous area. This has caused the state only develop in areas that are easier accessible to individuals. Most of West Virginia is covered in thick forest. Up to 75 percent, of the state is now considered protected.

14. West Virginia is the coal mining capital of the country. There is 2 billion tons of coal that is mined out of West Virginia every year.

15. West Virginia is also celebrated as the only state to consecutively year after year have the lowest crime rates in the country.

16. The first remote cameras in the world setup for Closed circuit Television to monitor an area were setup in West Virginia, in 1953.

17. The first mail delivery considered a rural route was started in West Virginia. The city of Charles Town was the first recipient of the rural route mail which then spread across the US.

18. One of the first suspension bridges in the world is located in West Virginia. It was built as a bypass, to allow easier access to Wheeling, West Virginia.

19. One of the main attractions for visitors to West Virginia is cave exploration. West Virginia has some of the largest caves in the country that people love to transverse. Organ Cave is the Third largest cave in the United States.

20. West Virginia is the highest state on the eastern seaboard. It has an average height of over 1500 feet above sea level.

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