LandmarksHallowed ground. Legendary events. Epic moments. West Virginia has experienced some extraordinary happenings since its 1863 statehood. Visit these historic landmarks that commemorate the stories of the past.
John Brown’s Fort, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Harpers Ferry was the site of a raid by abolitionist John Brown, who tried to spark a slave revolt in 1859. The 3,647-acre park encompasses 24 restored 19th-century buildings. Visitors to this National Historical Park can see John Brown’s Fort. This was the 1848 armory firehouse that was the site of his standoff against federal forces led by Robert E. Lee. Shuttle bus tours leave from the visitors center and travel to the Lower Town Historic District, where you can find preserved structures in the town of Harpers Ferry.
Wheeling National Heritage Area
The Wheeling National Heritage Area celebrates the Friendly City’s dramatic setting and historical impact along the Ohio River. Experience Wheeling’s Victorian architecture, waterfront park development, and historic Centre Market. You will also find renovated industrial buildings featuring retail shops, restaurants and interpretive exhibits. Be sure to visit West Virginia Independence Hall, the birthplace of the state of West Virginia during the Civil War.
Secret Bunker at The Greenbrier Resort
Hidden in plain sight at The Greenbrier Resort. This once top-secret 112,000-square-foot underground facility was built in 1961 to harbor every member of Congress in the event that Washington, D.C., came under nuclear attack during the Cold War. Ninety-minute guided tours take folks through an emergency television studio, House of Representatives chamber, cafeteria, water power plant, and decontamination areas.
George Washington’s Bathtub, Berkeley Springs State Park
George Washington was a regular visitor to Berkeley Springs from the age of 16, where he first visited as a land surveyor, and returned many times after that with his family. He even bought property there. Today, you can sit in the first president’s recreated tub in Berkeley Springs State Park or simply take a peek at the spring that bubbles up inside of it.
West Virginia State Capitol Complex
Cass Gilbert, architect of the U.S. Supreme Court building, also designed this 545,000-square-foot buff limestone structure in Charleston. Since its completion in 1932, the West Virginia Capitol building is the tallest building in the state. The 292-foot-tall dome soars nearly four and half feet higher than the U.S. Capitol building and is gilded with 14-karat gold leaf. Take a short guided tour or explore the 16-acre capitol complex for yourself. Be sure to spend time inside the 24,000-square-foot West Virginia State Museum.
Roadside Historical Markers
Roadside markers throughout West Virginia mark the location of significant historical events, as well as prehistoric sites and many geological and natural features. There are nearly 1,000 markers along West Virginia’s roadsides. See if you can spot one on your next drive.
Find a Landmark in Almost Heaven
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