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Welcome to the Culture news directory at West Virginia Explorer. Follow along as we explore the diverse cultures that have come to define the West Virginia experience.

Mountain speech may still be heard in rural West Virginia

New River from Beauty Mountain by Rick Burgess, Fayette County, New River Gorge Region
Though its speakers are aging and declining in number, there are still places in West Virginia where folks speak in what's known as the...

Tale of Eckerlin Brothers portrays struggle for religious freedom

A historic marker along the Cheat River recalls the settlement of Dunkards in the mid-1700s.
The history of West Virginia is filled with stories of religious diversity—of hermits and holy men and women who escaped the clamor and confines...

Civil War-era mystery of Burning Springs remains unsolved

Visitors gather at Burning Springs Park.
Curious motorists traveling the valley of the Little Kanawha River southwest of Parkersburg may or may not stop at historic Burning Springs. A defunct...

Meet the top five monsters from the West Virginia hills

Mothman by Ted Fauster
In the late 1990s, I was asked to pen a book of West Virginia folklore. I opted instead to create my own tales based...

Ancient West Virginia forests once a mosaic of landscapes

Forests in what became West Virginia were managed in ways we're only beginning to understand.
Historians once assumed that West Virginia had been shaded by a vast unbroken forest, but an expert on old forests in the Mountain State...

Rare memoir recalls national park before Thurmond ghost town

Riding horseback, Captain William Thurmond was a familiar site in the New River Gorge.
Perhaps no small town in West Virginia has gained the worldwide notoriety that the tiny Town of Thurmond has enjoyed. A ghost town located...

Untangling the tale of frontier heroine Mary Draper Ingles

Mary Draper Ingles is immortalized in bronze at Radford, Virginia.
The tale of Mary Draper Ingles—of her escape from Shawnee captors and her return through the mountains—is in many senses the ideal American frontier...

Strange carvings greeted early West Virginia explorers

Images of beasts and men decorate a boulder at the Half-Moon archaeological site, now submerged beneath the Ohio River.
When pioneers and other explorers first ventured into what would become West Virginia, they encountered artifacts of a much earlier age — carvings, burial...

Bizzare 'Wild West' massacre erupted in Cowen, W.Va., in 1905

Richwood, West Virginia (WV) in 1910 was the center of a booming timber industry.
Cowen today is a sleepy town of 500, perhaps best known for its location near a quiet lake, but it was hardly so in...

Wolf Moon on Jan. 17 recalls W.Va. as last domain of...

The Wolf Moon customarily rises over the West Virginia hills in January.
The Wolf Moon to rise over West Virginia on January 17, 2022, recalls a time when the howls of wolves haunted the Mountain State—the...

Account claims lost Swift silver mine delved near Big Sandy

The legendary lost silver mine of Johnathan Swift may have been delved near the forks of the Big Sandy River.
One of the most appealing of all Appalachian legends is that of the tale of the Lost Silver Mine of Johnathan Swift. Almost 200...

1911 horror in central W.Va. allegedly witnessed through ESP

One of the most publicized cases of extrasensory perception (ESP) reported in West Virginia involved the deaths of a mother and six children in...

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