But West Virginia is also known for its Civil War history, grand resorts and architectural feats, so set out and explore. This quiet, historic community at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers played a major role in the Civil War, with a slave rebellion in and a famed raid by abolitionist John Brown in The town also factored heavily into the war itself, as federal soldiers burned much of the armory and arsenal here to prevent the Confederacy from using them.
What Is West Virginia Famous For?
This easternmost town in West Virginia is now a national historic site, and you can walk the picturesque streets while visiting museums, battlefields and hiking trails. This resort in White Sulphur Springs dating to is often named among one of the finest in the world and is a national historic landmark. You can stay in one of the basic rooms, suites or guest or estate houses while taking in the grounds in a carriage ride or playing a round of golf with the Allegheny Mountains as your backdrop.
The resort also presents several fine dining opportunities, mineral spa services and games of blackjack in its 10,acre casino.
West Virginia State Facts
Because of its high mountain peaks, West Virginia is occasionally referred to as "the Switzerland of the United States," and plenty of mountain climbers love to scale the craggy outcroppings. Perhaps the best area to enjoy these sights is in the eight-county area called the Potomac Highland, where more than 1 million acres of national forest lands await exploration and the two highest peaks in the state — Snowshoe Mountain and Spruce Knob — are located.
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Whether you prefer to climb, hike, camp or fish, you'll find plenty of public lands for outdoor recreation. One of the most photographed sights in West Virginia, the New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville is the longest steel span in the western hemisphere at 1, feet, and one of the highest bridges in the United States. The bridge, completed in , reduced a treacherous minute drive down steep mountain roads to a single minute.
West Virginia (U.S. National Park Service)
West Virginia's Memorial Tunnel was the first in the nation to be monitored by television. It opened November 8, The first rural free mail delivery was started in Charles Town on October 6, , and then spread throughout the United States. West Virginia was the first state to have a sales tax.
It became effective July 1, A naval battle was fought in West Virginia waters during the Civil War. Gallaher published the "Ladies Garland," one of the first papers in the nation devoted mainly to the interests of women.
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Organ Cave, near Ronceverte, is the third largest cave in the United States and the largest in the state. A variety of the yellow apple, the Golden Delicious, originated in Clay County. West Virginia has an mean altitude of 1, feet, giving it the highest average altitude east of the Mississippi. One of the first suspension bridges in the world was completed in Wheeling in November It is 69 feet high and feet in circumference at the base and was opened on March 19, The first electric railroad in the world, built as a commercial enterprise, was constructed between Huntington and Guyandotte.
On September 10, , the Mingo Oak, largest and oldest white oak tree in the United States, was declared dead and felled with ceremony.
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Coal House, the only residence in the world built entirely of coal, is located in White Sulphur Springs. The house was occupied on June 1, The world's largest shipment of matches 20 carloads or ,, matches was shipped from Wheeling to Memphis, Tennessee, on August 26, Daniel Boone made his last survey of Charleston on September 8, He left the state in William Tompkins used natural gas to evaporate salt brine in , thus becoming the first person in the United States to use natural gas for industrial purposes. The first glass plant in West Virginia was at Wellsburg in The first pottery plant was in Morgantown in