Special Sub-Topic: Towns and Places of the Mountain State
|We will start off visiting one of the smaller towns of America. Many places in West Virginia have historical markers connected with George Washington, the United States' first president. Which town was founded by the youngest full brother of George Washington?|
Charles Town. Charles Washington was the founder of Charles Town. His home, Happy Retreat, was established in 1780, and the town was officially founded in 1786. The mansion is a registered historical landmark and open to tourism. Charles named many of the streets of his town after his family members, including one after his wife Mildred. Charles Town often gets confused with the city of Charleston because of the similarity in name.
|Next we have a town that is dynamite! It is known as "a living memorial of World War I". Which of these towns was named after an explosive chemical, and was an area for manufacturing explosives during World War I?|
Nitro. Nitro was named by government officials because it was originally founded to be an area reserved for making military explosives during World War I. Nitro was named after the chemical nitrocellulose, a flammable explosive that is also known as guncotton or flash paper. Although it started as just a small community area when the government was manufacturing explosives, it has grown to become a small town with its own unique character.
|Not all American towns have a peaceful history. This little town is at the southern end of the Mountain State, close to the Virginia border. Which of these towns was named after an area where there was conflict between Native Americans and the early settlers?|
War. War is the southernmost incorporated city in West Virginia. It was named after War Creek, a nearby creek named by Native Americans because of a battle that was fought between the local natives and early settlers in the 1700s. Although this is one unpleasant example in history, West Virginia has honored many Native American sites in its state and preserved them as national landmarks.
|West Virginia has some unique Native American landmarks. Now we are going to a town that is named after one of the largest burial mounds in the United States. Which of these towns has a burial mound that was built by Native Americans of the Adena culture?|
Moundsville. Moundsville was named after Grave Creek Mounds, a burial mound that is over 60 feet high. It is estimated that Native Americans from the Adena culture had to move 60,000 tons of dirt to create it. These Native Americans were known as "Mound Builders" because they built mounds for religious, ceremonial, cultural, burial and housing purposes. The Mound Builders disappeared from West Virginia around the year 1000. Little information is known about what happened to the Adene tribe in this area.
|Pick up your hiking boots! It is time to look at some of the Mountain State's natural treasures! Our first particular summit can be found among the Allegheny Mountains, and has a forest of evergreen trees at its top. Which of these mountains is the highest land point in the Mountain State?|
Spruce Knob. Spruce Knob is a summit 4,863 feet tall, making it the highest land point in West Virgina and the highest mountain in the Allegheny mountain range. At the top of the summit is a spruce forest with many evergreen trees. Although spruce is the main tree on this mountain, there are also many oak, hickory, birch, beech and maple trees towards the bottom of the summit. The mountain is located in the Monongahela National Forest and is one of West Virginia's tourist land attractions.
|Several of the Mountain State's mountains have many interesting names. This rugged ridge is also in the Allegheny Mountains, and was an area of heavy logging industry. Which of these mountains used to be home to the largest red spruce forest south of the state of Maine?|
Cheat Mountain. Cheat Mountain is one of the impressive ridges in the Allegheny Mountains, stretching fifty miles long and five miles wide. The mountain's area stretches over three counties in the Mountain State and used to have a large red spruce forest. When the West Virginia timber industry grew during the 1900s, the mountain was timbered and was almost completely barren by the 1960s. A portion of the mountain is protected by the Monongahela National Forest.
|Be careful and watch your step! You wouldn't want to fall off of this cliff! This rocky land point has a sandstone ledge and a 62 foot downhill cascade. Which of these is the giant waterfall that is created by the Blackwater River and flows into the Canaan Valley and a nearby canyon?|
Blackwater Falls. The Blackwater Falls is one of the highest falls in the Mountain State. It is formed by the Blackwater River that flows off a sandstone ledge, and flows 62 feet downward into the Canaan valley and off into Blackwater Canyon. Blackwater Falls is named after the river which has tannic acid-darkened water. The falls attract many tourists and are one of West Virginia's most photographed natural land sites. It is located in the Blackwater Fall's State Park and has many other walking trails and areas for visitors.
|Grab your soap and water bottle! Our next stop is a town named after a popular spa city in Great Britain! In its history it has attracted many visitors, including George Washington and James Rumsey. Which of these towns is famous for its mineral springs and has hosted an international water tasting contest?|
Bath. Bath was incorporated and named after Bath, Somerset, England. It is also more commonly known by the name Berkley Springs. The mineral springs attracted many visitors who believed that its waters could be used for medical purposes. During the American Revolution, George Washington and his troops visited Bath believing that the mineral springs could help treat wounded soldiers with its warm waters. Modern-day Bath continues to attract many tourists with its spas, and also hosts the Berkley Springs International Water Tasting.
|Now let's take a look at one of the Mountain State's more metropolitan areas. This city is located in the northern panhandle of the Mountain State, nestled among the hills of the Ohio River valley. Which of these is the city "forged by steel", and was named after a steel mill when four towns merged together? |
Weirton. Weirton became an incorporated city when four towns merged together and named the new city after the Weirton Steel Company, one of the largest steel producers in the United States at that time. Weirton is one of West Virginia's larger cities because it next to the Pittsburgh metropolitan area in Pennsylvania.
|We will end our journey at this historical spot. Located on the side of the Elk and Kanawha rivers, this particular city was nicknamed "the most northern city of the South and the most southern city of the North". Which of these cities is the Mountain State's beloved capital?|
Charleston. After the American Revolution, Charleston drew many settlers because of its natural resources. Charleston was also originally named Charles Town, but to avoid confusion with the town founded by Charles Washington, the "w" was dropped to make it "Charleston". Natural gas, salt, and coal have been important industries to the city's economic growth and many mines were established. During the Civil War, Charleston was divided between the Union and the Confederates until President Lincoln demanded that the western half of Virginia be given back to the Union. West Virginia officially became a state in 1863. Charleston became the state capital in 1877.
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