West Virginia

West Virginia State Flag Gifts & Merchandise

Date of Statehood: June 20, 1863

Capital: Charleston

Population: 1,852,994 (2010)

Size: 24,230 square miles

Nickname(s): Mountain State

Motto: Montani Semper Liberi (“Mountaineers Are Always Free”)

Tree: Sugar Maple

Flower: Rhododendron

Bird: Cardinal

West Virginia Timeline
  • 1606 - The Virginia Colony is established.
  • 1607 - The settlement of Jamestown is founded.
  • 1669 - John Lederer visits the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the first European to enter West Virginia.
  • 1671 - Explorers Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam travel into the Appalachian Mountains and find Kanawha Falls.
  • 1726 - German settlers build the settlement of New Mecklenburg.
  • 1748 - George Washington surveyed land in West Virginia.
  • 1762 - The oldest town in West Virginia, Shepherdstown, is founded.
  • 1776 - People in the region petition the Congress to create a 14th state called Westsylvania, but it is denied.
  • 1859 - Abolitionist John Brown leads a raid on the Harpers Ferry arsenal in an attempt to arm the slaves.
  • 1861 - When Virginia secedes from the Union at the start of the Civil War, West Virginia remains loyal to the Union and creates its own government separate from Virginia.
  • 1862 - The Battle of Shepherdstown is fought.
  • 1863 - West Virginia is admitted as the 35th state.
  • 1865 - The Civil War comes to an end and slavery is abolished in the state.
  • 1875 - The state capital is moved to Wheeling.
  • 1880 - The Hatfields and McCoys begin to feud.
  • 1885 - Charleston becomes the permanent state capital.
  • 1977 - The New River Gorge Bridge opens.

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