West Virginia State Overview

State of West Virginia general data (West Virginia)

  • Time zone: 6 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Charleston
  • Main towns: Fairmont, Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Wheeling.
  • Area: 62.755 km²
  • Population: 1,850,000 inhabitants approximately.
  • Population density: 29,4 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: WV
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on June 20, 1863, it is the 35th state to join the union.

The state of West Virginia (West Virginia) is extremely irregular. Physically it can be divided into two large areas: the Appalachian plateau, and the Appalachian chain and valley. It is a wild state, with an average height of 458m. The highest point is at Spruce Knob, 1,483m, and the lowest point in the Potomac River, near Harpers Ferry, 73m above sea level. In the Appalachian plateau, west of the chain of the same name, are the main population centers of the state, since it is in this region where the main coal and other mineral mines are located. The Appalachian chain and valley region forms the natural border with the state of Virginia. It is a mountainous area of ​​great forest richness, and narrow valleys, with lands suitable for agricultural and livestock activities. The state of West Virginia has two river systems: that of the Ohio River and that of the Chesapeake Bay. The Ohio River, a tributary of the Mississippi, runs through part of the West Virginia territory. In the navigable Ohio, the rivers that flow into the lands of the west of the state flow, among them the Monongahela, the Little Kanawha, the Kanawha, the Guyandotte and the Big Sandy. The Potomac River, which flows into Chesapekae Bay, receives the waters of the Shenandoah, the North Branch and the South Branch. As for lakes, West Virginia has no major natural lakes, although artificial ones have been built along the main rivers. These reservoirs include Lake Summersville, Bluestone, Sutton, Tygart and East Lynn. West Virginia’s climate is highly dependent on topography, which is why there are many variations in temperature and rainfall.

Flora and fauna – Cherry and oak trees grow in the valleys, giving way, at higher altitudes, to patches of conifers. Wildlife is represented by deer, bears, squirrels, foxes, skunks, possums, and raccoons. River fish such as trout, carp and perch are abundant.

The climate – it can be defined as continental, except in the strip of land that enters the state of Virginia to the east and receives humid winds from the Atlantic. Average annual temperatures range from 13 ° C in the southwest to 9 ° C in some mountainous areas. In January, the average temperatures fluctuate according to the zones, between 0 ° C and -1 ° C, while in July the average throughout the territory is 24 ° C. The maximum and minimum temperatures recorded in West Virginia are -37 ° C and 42 ° C. As for rainfall, the state average varies between 900 mm and 1,520 mm. Snowfall is frequent in the Appalachian Mountains. While hurricanes and tornadoes are infrequent, West Virginia frequently suffers, especially in the summer months,

West Virginia Tourist Attractions

The configuration of the territory is tormented: the state, in fact, is formed by a series of buttresses separated by deep valleys in which rivers flow in the midst of canyons and crevasses.

In this scenario of wild beauty, traces of a prehistoric civilization remain: the valleys of Ohio and Kanawha are scattered with conical mounds, the burials of the Adenas, tribes considered the ancestors of the Indians. It is thought that their culture was very advanced and it is to them that the construction of stone walls that rise in the Kanawha valley is attributed. The most spectacular construction known today is the Grave Creek Mound, a 24-meter-high mound.

The pioneers who ventured beyond the Allegheny Mountains found land unfavorable for their lives, but soon discovered that the region offered immense possibilities. Coal hidden under the forests represented invaluable potential for mining development, while the fertility of the land encouraged newcomers to settle there, confident that they could devote themselves to agriculture and livestock. The whites, once installed, realized that the natural resources of West Virginia predestined that state to an industrial development that the coal mines could largely fuel, supplying the necessary energy: it was thus that the chemical plants and the factories glass prospered. The most renowned crystal is undoubtedly that of Morgantown, whose factories are official White House suppliers. In Charleston, the state capital, artisans can still be seen blowing glass and shaping it with their hands: their skill is a fascinating sight.

Overall, West Virginia has managed to keep its reputation as a kingdom of healthy springs and wilderness parks intact. Since the 18th century, many people seeking healing have come to White Sulfur Springs, hot springs in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains.

It is, however, at the opposite end of West Virginia, on the eastern branch of that kind of pincer which connects Pennsylvania with Maryland, that the word “nature” seems to acquire its full meaning. The emotion that the discovery of a landscape in which there is no obstacle limiting the horizon provides is particularly vivid at the point from which the confluence of the Potomac and the Shenandoah is dominated. No discordant note alters the majestic harmony of this place: not even the small town of Harpers Ferry.

Harpers Ferry is a charming town full of history with steep cobbled streets, framed by the Shenandoah Mountains at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. The lower town is an open-air museum, with more than a dozen buildings that you can visit to get a taste of 19th-century small-town life. The exhibits chronicle the city’s role at the forefront of westward expansion, American industry and, more famously, the fight against slavery. In 1859 the old John Brown tried to ignite a slave revolt in this city, a handful of young people, under his leadership, tried in vain to free the slaves from the arsenal, but was captured and hanged. This episode increased the friction between north and south that culminated in the American Civil War.

The major arts organizations in this state are the Charleston and Wheeling Symphony Orchestras, and the Charleston Children’s Theater. Given the marked rural character of this state, many associations have dedicated themselves to saving and preserving traditions through fairs, craft exhibitions and days dedicated to folk songs and tales.

West Virginia State Overview