When traveling along the state’s scenic country roads each turn tells a story of the state’s rich history and heritage. These roads lead you to extraordinary places, like the home of John Brown’s famous raid in the Eastern Panhandle and the preserved coal mining towns of the Hatfield-McCoy Mountains. Discover for yourself these one-of-a-kind historical destinations that await you in Almost Heaven.
Experience firsthand the ways of early pioneer life at the Heritage Farm Museum and Village. Here you can watch skilled tradespeople preserve traditional Appalachian arts and crafts, visit the Blacksmith Shop, explore an array of award-winning museums, visit the petting zoo and more.
New River/Greenbrier Valley
Step back in time and explore true representation of early 20th century coal camp life at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. While here you can ride through the dark passages of a vintage coal mine, visit a recreated coal camp, explore the Youth Museum and even pick up a special West Virginia made item at the gift shop.
Immerse yourself in history at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park where you can visit the past of this historic community. Stroll the picturesque streets, visit exhibits and museums or hike the parks incredible trails and battlefields, which provide beautiful views of the Eastern Panhandle.
Explore Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, the island was settled in 1789 by Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett. In 1805, they allowed their estate to become headquarters for Aaron Burr’s military expedition to the Southwest, an episode that raised the island to national renown and awarded it a permanent footnote in American history. Today, the island can be accessed by sternwheeler and visitors can enjoy tours of the grounds and mansion as well as horse-drawn carriage rides.
Visit one of the oldest markers in the United States at Fairfax Stone State Park. The Fairfax Stone, a surveyor’s marker and boundary stone marks the western boundary granted to Lord Fairfax by the King of England in the 1700s. Two centuries later, the stone was used to determine the boundary between West Virginia and Maryland.
Located in the Northern Panhandle, sits the 2,000 year-old Grave Creek Mound, the largest conical type of any of the mound builder structures. The construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C. and the mound has been measured to be 69 feet in height and 295 feet at its base. Visitors can also visit the Delf Norona Museum, which showcases artifacts and exhibits interpreting the lifestyle of the Adena people.
Venture to one of the oldest state parks in the United States, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park. The park is part of the Civil War Discovery Trail, which links more than 300 historical sites in 16 states, and commemorates the 1861 Battle of Carnifex Ferry, a major Union victory that led to the eventual Confederate withdrawal from western Virginia. Visitors can tour the restored Patterson House and interpretive museum as well as watch Civil War reenactments.
The town of Matewan played a role in many historic events such as the famous Hatfield-McCoy feuds and the Matewan Massacre. Visit the Matewan Depot Replica Museum, a replica of the train depot that stood across the railroad tracks from downtown Matewan until the 1960s. The museum houses artifacts as well as information from the Hatfield-McCoy feud and the Matewan Massacre.
Revisit the 1930s at the New Deal Homestead Museum. In 1933, the community of Arthurdale was established through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. Arthurdale was the nation’s first New Deal Homestead Community and became known as “Eleanor’s Little Village” because of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelts involvement. Today visitors can learn how the homesteaders lived and take a personally guided tour through five of the community’s original buildings.