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Facts About West Virginia's History: 5 Things You Might Not Know

By    |   Friday, 03 Apr 2015 12:28 PM

The only state to gain admission to the Union during the Civil War, the state of West Virginia was established on June 20, 1863. The "Mountain State" of West Virginia is represented thoughtfully in its state motto, "Montani Semper Liberi," which translates into "Mountaineers Are Always Free."

Here are five facts you may not know about the state of West Virginia:

1. The Greenbriar Hotel: Located in White Sulphur Springs in the Allegheny Mountains, The Greenbriar Hotel is a renowned historic location that was purchased by the U.S. Army in 1942. According to History.com, this deluxe resort was utilized at the beginning of World War II to accommodate diplomats from Germany, Italy and Japan.

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It was later transformed into a military hospital where more than 24,000 soldiers were cared for. According to the West Virginia Legislature, it was also the location of famous springs which were believed by some to have the ability to cure numerous medical conditions.

2. New River Gorge Bridge: Built in Fayetteville, the New River Gorge Bridge is known as the longest steel-arch bridge in the U.S. According to the West Virginia Legislature, the New River Gorge Bridge stretches out over 1,815 feet across the New River Canyon. One of the oldest rivers in the world, they also say that the river flows from south to north, as it was formed before the mountains even existed. Every year, the bridge is closed and becomes the site of a celebration where people are allowed to bungee jump and parachute from the bridge.

3. John Brown: The abolitionist John Brown and his group of followers conducted a raid at the Harper's Ferry federal armory in 1859. According to History.com, even though his plan to head up a widespread slave revolt with armory weapons failed, the raid caused white Southerners to begin to fear rebellion by their slaves. This event also elevated feelings of tension between the North and the South, preceding the Civil War.

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4. Apples to Apples: According to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, two varieties of apples originated in West Virginia. One of these was the Grimes Golden apple, which was found on a Wellsburg farm in the early 19th century. The Golden Delicious apple, which was discovered on a Clay County farm in the early 20th century, was named the official fruit of West Virginia.

5. Grave Creek Mound: The largest cone-shaped burial mound found in the country is located in Marshall County. Constructed by the Adena civilization between 250 and 150 B.C, Grave Creek Mound is 62 feet tall and 240 feet in diameter. A hidden burial chamber full of human bones and jewelry was discovered in 1838 when two men dug into the mound, according to History.com.

URGENT: Do You Approve of the Job Joe Manchin Is Doing as a West Virginia Senator?

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The only state to gain admission to the Union during the Civil War, the state of West Virginia was established on June 20, 1863. The "Mountain State" of West Virginia is represented thoughtfully in its state motto, "Montani Semper Liberi."
facts about west virginia, history
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2015-28-03
Friday, 03 Apr 2015 12:28 PM
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