West Virginia


In 1861, Virginians in the northwestern part of the state defied Virginia’s secession from the United States. The region chose to remain in the Union and form a new state. West Virginia was admitted into the Union in 1863, after conditions requiring the gradual emancipation of slaves had been met. The state motto is “Mountaineers are always free,” and West Virginia lives up to its nickname of the “Mountain State.” With an average altitude of 1,500 feet above sea level, it’s the highest of any state east of the Mississippi River. For a long time, West Virginia was a leading producer of coal in North America, but many people left to pursue better employment opportunities. That trend has turned around, and now the state’s economy is in a more stable condition. The capital is Charleston, and the state flower is the big rhododendron.

Capital City: Charleston
Nickname: Mountain State
Motto: Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Are Always Free)
Statehood: June 20, 1863 (35th)
Origin of State’s Name: Name given to western counties of Virginia which refused to secede in 1863″
Largest Cities: Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Morgantown
Border States: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia
Land Area: 24,087 sq. mi., 41st largest
State Bird: Cardinal
State Flower: Big Rhododendron (rhododendron maximum)
State Tree: Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)
State Song:
West Virginia, My Home, Sweet Home
The West Virginia Hills
This Is My West Virginia