Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!
I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state in my series is
West Virginia became the 35th state on June 20, 1863. The Capital is Charleston.
Almost heaven, West Virginia,
Blue ridge mountain, Shenandoah river,
Life is old there, older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
– from “Country Roads, Take Me Home” by John Denver
West Virginia is in my blood. My father grew up in a farm house high up in the southern part of the West Virginia Appalachian Mountains during the depression. Way back in the 1700’s my ancestors settled in the part of Virginia that later became West Virginia. Every year of my childhood my brothers and I climbed in the back seat of our family station wagon to travel up the narrow, winding roads up the mountain to spend a week at my grandparent’s house where my father grew up.
I’ve only traveled to West Virginia a few times in my adult life. Over 20 years ago Henry and I traveled to Pence Springs to attend a family reunion. The beautiful old Pence Springs Grand Hotel was our home for the reunion. Through the years the building has been a girl’s school, a resort, and a women’s prison. Since our stay there it has reverted back to a girl’s school.
The campground at Pipestem Resort State Park was our home for several days of exploring southern West Virginia. Located on the east rim of the Bluestone River Gorge, this scenic park was perfectly located for day trips all around the area.
One of my ancestors, Col. James Graham built this home in 1772. One of the oldest and most historic homes in West Virginia, The Graham House Preservation Society maintains the house and tours are available.
The New River is one of the oldest rivers on the continent and is one of the few that flows north. Biking trails, hiking trails, and white water rafting are popular activities in The New River Gorge National River. The New River Gorge Bridge is the longest single-span steel arch bridge in the world. We stopped at a few of the overlooks in the park for spectacular views of the river.
We enjoyed walking around historic Hinton and took a drive to the Bluestone Dam.
After leaving Pipestem State Park our travels took us through Charleston where we passed by the state capitol on the way through the city.
In another part of West Virginia we toured parts of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. We were camped at the Harpers Ferry / Civil War Battlefields KOA and took a ranger guided tour of the battlefield at Murphy Farm where Confederate Soldiers captured over 12,000 Union soldiers in September, 1862.
Next we strolled around the historic buildings in the town of Harpers Ferry. John Brown’s raid took place here in 1859 and the town changed hands about 8 times during the Civil War. The town is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. These days it is a popular place for tubing, kayaking and fishing.
To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia Washington