West Virginia is full of history, mystery, and beautiful mountains. It is a state that captures your heart with the kindness of the locals and the deep, rich history it contains. Whether you live there or are thinking about moving to WV, here are eight interesting facts that might surprise you about the Mountain State.
Children chose the State Flower. The state flower, the Rhododendron, was declared in 1903, and schoolchildren and Governor Albert Blakeslee White chose it.
The famous Greenbrier Hotel and Resort in White Sulpher Springs was used as an army hospital during WWII. The springs at the hotel area are also rumored to cure various ailments.
The biggest state fair is older than the state. WV became a state in 1863, and the first version of the modern state fair was in 1854 in Lewisburg.
The Golden Delicious Apple was discovered in WV. Not only was it discovered in WV, but on February 20, 1995, the Apple was named the official fruit of WV.
The first Mother's Day was held in Grafton, WV. It was due to Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, and she got a Philadelphia department store to support her. Anna then organized the first official Mother's Day celebration at a Methodist church.
West Virginia is said to have had the largest sycamore tree in the world. The tree is known as the Webster Sycamore and is located near Webster Springs; it is 112 feet tall, the tallest of its species in the US. Unfortunately, the tree fell in 2010, partly from old age; it was 500 years old and damaged by arson.
WV opened the first prison to house female inmates in 1926. The prison is a Federal Industrial Institution for Women in Alderson, WV.
WV has the oldest and most prominent Native American burial ground, Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville, WV. Early inhabitants were known as Mound Builders and constructed the mounds for religious purposes and burial sites.
The best-kept secret in WV is a massive underground fallout shelter built in the 1950s below the White Sulfur Springs resort for the US Congress in case of a nuclear attack. The underground bunkers can house up to 1,000 people for at least 60 days. This part of the resort is now open for guests.