Brush up on your WV History with these 4 Unique Facts

West Virginia has a rich and exciting history. Since our inception in 1863, we’ve built many more stories worth telling. Read for yourself about some of the state’s noteworthy history.

1. West Virginia is the only state born from the Civil War

The Civil War was one of the pivotal events in the history of the United States, one that determined once and for all the question of slavery and strengthened the role of the federal government.

For Virginians, the 1861-1865 conflict was momentous for another event – the rending of Virginia into two parts, east and west, and the formation of a new state called “West Virginia.”

2. Eastern West Virginia is the location of the nation’s largest “quiet zone”

The Quiet Zone was enacted to reduce radio wave interference for the Green Bank Telescope. Almost 500 feet tall and weighing about 17 million pounds, it’s one of the largest objects on the earth.

The Green Bank Telescope picks up radio transmissions from outer space, and even the tiniest interference can make it impossible to decipher what those radio waves from space mean. No cell phones and no wi-fi make this part of West Virginia truly unique in today’s modern world.

3. The native home of the Golden Delicious apple is Clay County

The Golden Delicious apple was discovered in 1912 by Anderson Mullins in Clay County. The fruit quickly became the state’s second major horticultural contribution to the commercial apple industry. Then in 1995, the Golden Delicious apple became West Virginia’s state fruit.

Today the Clay County Golden Delicious Festival celebrates the harvest of this crisp, yellow-skinned fruit. The festival features good old-fashioned bobbing for apples, amusement rides and a baking contest highlighting the state’s prized Golden Delicious apple, of course.

4. A declassified bunker is housed at The Greenbrier Resort

The construction of this bunker began in 1958 and completed in 1961. The top-secret, super-sized bunker was built for all 535 members of Congress during the Eisenhower era.

During the 30 years that it was an active facility, technology was constantly updated so that the bunker was always ready in case of emergency. The location of the facility, critical to its effectiveness, remained a secret for more than three decades.

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This post was last updated on February 28, 2022