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Monday, April 22, 2024

History

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.

The word "hillbilly" was once a term of endearment in Appalachia

"Dance" by Porte Crayon, an illustration for Harper's New Monthly Magazine; May 1872.
RICHWOOD, W.Va. — The word "hillbilly" was a term of endearment in the southern Appalachian Mountains region in the early 1800s, though it later...

How the Pruntytown reformatory became a bogeyman in West Virginia

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...

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...

What historians get wrong about frontier heroine Mary Draper Ingles

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

Tragedy of the Rebecca affirms the danger of Ohio River in...

Artist's conception of wreck of steamboat Rebecca at Parkersburg in 1869.
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — While the interior of West Virginia remained a virtual wilderness through the late 1800s, wharves along the Ohio River bustled with...

Decrepit West Virginia house recalls Dreamland murder-suicide tragedy

KENOVA, W.Va. — Every summer for nearly a century, people have flocked to Dreamland Pool in the small city of Kenova, West Virginia. On...

Some mysterious W.Va. rock features may have sacred origins

Cairn on a West Virginia ridge. Photo courtesy Charity Moore.
Editor's Note: If you're familiar with the outdoors in West Virginia, you've likely seen rocks piled in what might seem "the middle of nowhere."...

Bizarre 'Wild West' massacre erupted in Cowen, West Virginia, in 1905

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

The Great Seal of West Virginia: what its symbols mean

An illustration of the West Virginia Coat of Arms includes elements set for by the state in 1863.
The Great Seal of West Virginia may be as fascinating to some West Virginians as the U.S. dollar bill is for other Americans. It's...

Scientists say mysterious carvings in W.Va. are native, not Irish

LYNCO, W.Va. — Scientists who are studying ancient carvings in West Virginia say stories that propose a non-native origin for prehistoric landmarks ignore evidence...

Herds of wild hog once roamed the hills and mountains of...

GRANTSVILLE, W.Va. — Occasionally, you might hear old-timers speak of a time when herds of wild hogs were hunted in the West Virginia hills....

Legend of ancient warpath along the W.Va. Turnpike is fact

The West Virginia Turnpike follows part of an ancient warpath through the West Virginia hills.
Older folks who live in the valley of Paint Creek may recall legends about how the stream was named: an ancient warpath followed it...

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