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5 Facts About West Virginia's Capital: How Well Do You Know Charleston?

By    |   Friday, 03 April 2015 11:02 AM

The capital of West Virginia, Charleston is a city rich in historical significance.

Here are some facts about Charleston that everyone may not know about:

1. Capitol Building: According to USHistory.com, first state capitol was built in 1885, and 36 years later it was consumed by a fire. When the fire was burning, it set off ammunition that was stored on the top floor. This caused people on the street to run in terror. During the confusion, two men stole a fire truck and were apprehended by the police. After a new capitol building was built, it was burned down again in 1927.

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According to the West Virginia Legislature, its third construction was completed on June 20, 1932, and cost around $10 million to erect. At 292 feet high, the dome of the capitol building stands even taller than the dome on the Capitol building in Washington D.C.

2. Salt Industry: Uncovered in the early 1800s, the West Virginia Salt Brines were found beside the Kanawha River. According to City Town Info, the first salt well was established in 1806. Charleston's economy began to prosper as a result and Charleston became one of the primary salt providers in the world. USHistory.com states that while Charleston's economy was stimulated by the salt trade, in later years coal mining took over. In the 1920s, chemical manufacturing in West Virginia began on a grand scale.

3. George Patton: US History.com says the wife of George Smith Patton bought a home on Charleston's east side. During the Civil War's first days, Patton organized the Kanawha Riflemen and battled for the Confederacy. As a result, he was killed at the Battle of Winchester. Little did he know that his great grandson would become the famous General George S. Patton Jr., a World War II hero. His grandfather's house is one of Charleston's most notable landmarks.

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4. The Battle of Charleston: City Town Info talks of another important event that happened in Charleston, the Battle of Charleston. In this legendary battle, the Union Army was defeated. Soon after this battle the Union Army came back and held occupation in the area until the Civil War ended. After Abraham Lincoln declared that northwestern Virginia be returned to the Union, West Virginia officially became a Union state in 1863.

5. A Charleston First: According to Awesome America, Charleston is the location of the first brick street that was laid in the entire world. Known as Summers Street, it was built on October 23, 1870.

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