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Welcome to the History news directory at West Virginia Explorer, where you’ll find an archive of the most recent West Virginia history news published at West Virginia Explorer.

Then there was the time West Virginia had four governors

West Virginia Governor's Mansion at Charleston, WV, Kanawha County, Metro Valley Region
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Too much government? As complex as politics in West Virginia, or any other state, might seem today, there was a time...

West Virginia uniquely tied to Thanksgiving Day celebration

Union soldier Larkin Goldsmith Mead holds a Thanksgiving turkey at Camp Griffin, Virginia, c. 1861.
The anniversary of the first Thanksgiving was not nationally celebrated until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared a day of "thanksgiving and praise" to be...

Word "hillbilly" once a term of endearment in Appalachia

"Dance" by Porte Crayon, an illustration for Harper's New Monthly Magazine; May 1872.
According to some authorities, the word "hillbilly" was a term of endearment in the Appalachian Mountains in the early 1800s, though it later developed...

Public invited to open house Oct. 15 at Wyoming County landmark

The Itmann Company Store complex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
ITMANN, W.Va. — Foxfire Realty and the Wyoming County Historical Society will host an open house for the public from 10 a.m. until 4...

Mystery surrounds tale of frontier slave who defended fort

A historic marker recounting a version of the Dick Pointer tale stands near his monument.
LEWISBURG, W.Va. — Settlers who pushed westward across the Alleghenies in the 1700s engaged in a deadly gamble. Despite the threat of attack by...

Museum installing monuments to commemorate Mine Wars

Community members gather to plan a Mine Wars monument installation at Marmet.
MATEWAN, W.Va. — The first of two monuments commemorating the Battle of Blair Mountain in West Virginia will be installed this weekend in Logan...

Hikers, paddlers can visit New River's lost "Island of the Dead"

Headstones hide in the dim light of wooded Red Ash Island in the New River Gorge.
THURMOND, W.Va. — Victims of a smallpox pandemic that swept through the New River Gorge in the late 1800s may have been buried in...

Little-known Farley Monument recalls origins of family in W.Va.

A monument at Old Farley memorializes Drewry Farley.
PIPESTEM, W.Va.—Of the thousands of people named "Farley" who can claim to hail from southern West Virginia, almost all come from one place —"Old...

Three little-known facts about West Virginia's moundbuilders

The largest of the two Oak Mounds rises overlooks the West Fork River.
The term “moundbuilder” is often used to describe two ancient cultures that archaeologists now know as the Adena and the Hopewell. These peoples lived...

Mass grave at Lewisburg unique among Confederate monuments

Pennies on Rebel Grave, Lewisburg, West Virginia, Greenbrier County, Greenbrier Valley Region
LEWISBURG, W.Va.—Of the many historic landmarks in Lewisburg, perhaps none is more remarkable than a cross-shaped Confederate grave on a hill above the city's...

How Pruntytown reformatory became a bogeyman in W.Va.

A farmhouse at Pruntytown was once part of the infamous boys' reformatory complex.
PRUNTYTOWN, W.Va.—If you were an unruly boy growing up in West Virginia before the 1980s, there's a chance your misbehaviors were met with the...

Devil's Saddle poem tells of girl's meeting with "granny witch"

Throughout the history of Appalachia, one may encounter the legend of granny witches—solitary women believed to possess uncanny powers. Many served in very real...

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