The western counties of Virginia separated from that state when it seceded in 1861. Those counties combined as West Virginia and became the 35th state on June 20, 1863.
Here are 5 things you might not know about West Virginia:
- In 1756, the first public spa opened in Berkeley Springs.
- Almost 3/4 of the state is covered by forests.
- The first rural mail delivery started in 1896 in Charles Town and then spread throughout the U.S.
- The concept of advertising outdoors originated in Wheeling in 1908 when the Block Brothers Tobacco Company painted bridges and barns with: “Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch.” Mail Pouch Tobacco was first produced in Wheeling in 1879.
- The only residence built entirely of coal and aptly named Coal House is located in White Sulphur Springs.
About Anne Gillespie Mitchell
Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.