Sunday, September 27, 2020


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.

Lost Mercer Saltworks known to only a few locals, adventurers

David Sibray inspects stonework in a thicket near the old saltworks.
The legend of the Mercer Saltworks may be remembered now by only a few, and its ruins—tumbled stones along an isolated stream—may be known...

Civil War lecture series set for Sept. 28 in Charleston

"The Ascent of Gauley Mountain, in Western Virginia by the Twelfth Ohio Regiment," from Harpers Illustrated, October 5, 1861.
West Virginia Archives and History will present a series of four hour-long lectures regarding West Virginia during the Civil War on Saturday, Sept. 28,...

Annual Mountain Games competition tests pioneer skills

A competitor throws a tomahawk during the annual Mountain Games competition at Heritage Farms near Huntington, West Virginia.
Survival on the Appalachian frontier required unique skills around which the fourth annual Mountain Games competition September 21 at Heritage Farm near Huntington, West...

William "Mudwall" Jackson led failed attack on fort at Bulltown

A line of trees follows a breastwork at the Bulltown Battlefield at Bulltown, West Virginia, in Braxton County.
During the first years of the U.S. Civil War, Braxton County, now in central West Virginia, was notably troubled by marauding bands of guerillas,...

Word "hillbilly" once term of endearment rather than disdain

"Dance" by Porte Crayon, an illustration for Harper's New Monthly Magazine; May 1872.
The word "hillbilly" was a term of endearment in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1800s, though it later took on negative connotations, according to...

Bizzare 'Wild West' massacre erupted in Cowen 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...

Did a clown help relocate West Virginia's capital to Charleston?

Lolo, the clown, helped establish Charleston as the capital of West Virginia.
Though it might sound like a superb Wheeling joke—Wheeling having been West Virginia's first capital—it's true that a circus clown helped relocate West Virginia's...

Historians seek information on Wolf Creek area in Fayette County

A historian at Wolf Creek Park documents a stone remnant of the mining industry there.
Historians from West Virginia State University are seeking historical information about the Wolf Creek plateau area in central Fayette County, particularly the 1,000-acre Wolf...

Roosevelt's first social experiment remains in Preston County

The center hall at Arthurdale , West Virginia
The Kingwood Pike climbs slowly from the valley of the Monongahela River at Morgantown into the Allegheny highlands atop the Chestnut Ridge, and from...

Haunting statue recalls roll of W.Va. mountaineer in Civil War

A statue of the Mountaneer stands at the West Virginia Capitol.
The late historian and journalist Jim Comstock battled ceaselessly to keep alive the memory of the "mountaineer," the independent denizen of the state's mountain...

Winter weekend at North Bend State Park to highlight '60s

Visitors dine at North Bend State Park circa 1965
Scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 19-21, the annual Winter Wonder Weekend this year at North Bend State Park will feature hiking, crafts, and...

B&O Railroad completed to Wheeling on Jan. 1, 1853

Railroad architecture at Grafton, WV, Taylor County, Monongahela Valley Region
On January 1, 1853, the first train arrived in Wheeling, West Virginia, (then Virginia) on the newly completed Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the first...

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