NAMED FOR: Philip Pendleton Barbour (1783–1841), a U.S. congressman from Virginia and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
MOMENT IN HISTORY: The Battle of Philippi, June 3, 1861, generally considered the first land engagement of the American Civil War
FAMOUS FOR: Philippi Covered Bridge
NAMED FOR: Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt (1718–1770), colonial governor of Virginia from 1768-70
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1726, Morgan Morgan founded the first permanent English settlement in West Virginia on Mill Creek near the present-day Bunker Hill.
FAMOUS FOR: The town of Martinsburg changed hands more than 50 times during the Civil War because of the valuable railroads there.
NAMED FOR: Daniel Boone, noted hunter and explorer
MOMENT IN HISTORY: John Peter Salley discovered a coal reserve in 1742 while on an exploring trip near Peytona.
FAMOUS FOR: The 506 square miles that make up the county have more coal reserves than any other place in the world equal to its size.
NAMED FOR: Carter Braxton, a Virginia statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence
MOMENT IN HISTORY: The Civil War Battle of Bulltown, Oct. 13, 1863
FAMOUS FOR: Flatwoods Factory Outlet Stores
NAMED FOR: Robert Brooke, governor of Virginia from 1794-96
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1840, Bethany College was established and became the first college in the state.
FAMOUS FOR: Rich Native American history and cultural significance
NAMED FOR: William H. Cabell, the governor of Virginia from 1805-08
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1923, Huntington became home to the state’s first radio station and, in 1949, the state’s first television station.
FAMOUS FOR: The home of Marshall University
NAMED FOR: Vice President John C. Calhoun
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1903, Alberts Chapel, an unusual octagonal Methodist church built “so that the devil couldn’t corner you in it,” was constructed by Albert Poling.
FAMOUS FOR: Annual Wood Festival
NAMED FOR: Henry Clay, famous American statesman, member of the U.S. Senate from Kentucky and U.S. Secretary of State
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1895, the Charleston, Clendenin, Clay and Sutton Railway opened into Clay County. Before then, the primary means of transportation in the county was rafting along the Elk River.
FAMOUS FOR: Golden Delicious apple, which originated on Porters Creek
NAMED FOR: Philip Doddridge, a distinguished statesman of Western Virginia
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Resident Chapman Johnson Stuart, a delegate to the 1861 Wheeling Convention, is credited with naming the state “West Virginia.”
FAMOUS FOR: Birthplace of M.M. Neely
NAMED FOR: Marquis de la Fayette
MOMENT IN HISTORY: On Oct. 22, 1977, construction was completed of the New River Gorge Bridge, the third-longest steel single-span arch bridge in the world.
FAMOUS FOR: Bridge Day
NAMED FOR: Thomas Walker Gilmer, governor of Virginia from 1840-41, congressman and secretary of the Navy
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Aug. 30, 1862, the Battle of Tank Hill, a minor skirmish
FAMOUS FOR: Glenville State College
NAMED FOR: Gen. Ulysses Simpson Grant
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1863, Union Col. James A. Mulligan built the Petersburg fort, which is the best-preserved fortification in the state.
FAMOUS FOR: Dolly Sods Wilderness Area
NAMED FOR: Greenbrier River
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1992, Ted Gup of The Washington Post revealed that a secret emergency relocation center to house Congress in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust was constructed in 1959 under The Greenbrier Resort’s West Virginia Wing.
FAMOUS FOR: The Greenbrier Resort
NAMED FOR: The county Hampshire, England
MOMENT IN HISTORY: On June 11, 1861, the town of Romney changed hands twice in the same day, and during the course of the Civil War changed hands 56 times — the most of any West Virginia city.
FAMOUS FOR: Ice Mountain on the North River
NAMED FOR: John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River and claimed all the lands drained by the Ohio River for King Louis XV of France.
FAMOUS FOR: Steel industry
NAMED FOR: Samuel Hardy, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1725, the first European visitor to this area was John Van Meter.
FAMOUS FOR: Rich lands and agriculture
NAMED FOR: Benjamin Harrison V, governor of Virginia
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was born in Clarksburg on Jan. 21, 1824.
FAMOUS FOR: Annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival
NAMED FOR: President Andrew Jackson
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1770, George Washington acquired a 2,448-acre parcel and asked Col. William Crawford to survey the lands in 1771. A permanent settlement was first established in 1810, and descendants of George Washington laid out the streets of Ravenswood.
FAMOUS FOR: Aluminum production
NAMED FOR: Thomas Jefferson, president and author of the Declaration of Independence.
MOMENT IN HISTORY: On Oct. 16, 1859, John Brown led 18 men in an attack on the Harpers Ferry Armory.
FAMOUS FOR: Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival
NAMED FOR: Kanawha River, Native American term kanawha meaning “place of white stone”
MOMENT IN HISTORY: On June 27, 1974, the Kanawha County Board of Education approved a list of books to be included within the curriculum of schools, leading to protests, violence, boycotts and planted bombs by the conservative community concerned about content in some of the 325 books on the list.
FAMOUS FOR: State capital of West Virginia
NAMED FOR: Charles Lewis, the first soldier killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1990, Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park was completed, a project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a flood control dam.
FAMOUS FOR: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
NAMED FOR: Abraham Lincoln
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1799, Jesse, John, David, William and Moses McComas were the first English settlers there and planted and cultivated 20 acres of corn, the first ever grown in the area.
FAMOUS FOR: The home county of Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier
NAMED FOR: Chief Logan, Native American chief of the Mingo tribe
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Aug. 25, 1921, the Battle of Blair Mountain begins, as 10,000 armed coal miners clash with 3,000 law enforcement officers over attempts to unionize.
FAMOUS FOR: The deadly 1972 Buffalo Creek Flood
NAMED FOR: Francis Marion, American Revolutionary War general
MOMENT IN HISTORY: July 5, 1908, the Central United Methodist Church congregation marks the nation’s first observance of Father’s Day in honor of those killed the previous year in the explosion of the Monongah mine.
FAMOUS FOR: The home of the pepperoni roll
NAMED FOR: John Marshal, chief justice of the Supreme Court
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Louis Marx & Co. opened the world’s largest toy factory in 1934 at the site of an old airplane factory in Glen Dale. Marx toys employed 800 workers in the 1970s before closing in 1980.
FAMOUS FOR: The Grave Creek Burial Mound, West Virginia’s oldest burial ground
NAMED FOR: George Mason, a statesman
MOMENT IN HISTORY: On Dec. 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge at Point Pleasant collapsed into the Ohio River, plunging some 50 vehicles into the water and killing 46 people.
FAMOUS FOR: The Mothman
NAMED FOR: James McDowell, governor of Virginia from 1843-45
MOMENT IN HISTORY: McDowell County has the distinction of having had the first female African-American state legislator in the United States, when Minnie Buckingham Harper was appointed to the House of Delegates by Gov. Gore in 1928.
FAMOUS FOR: Homer Hickam, of “Rocket Boys” fame, was born in Coalwood.
NAMED FOR: Revolutionary War Gen. Hugh Mercer
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Congresswoman Elizabeth Kee, who took office in the House of Representatives in 1951, is the Mountain State’s first female congresswoman.
FAMOUS FOR: Bluefield is known as “Nature’s Air-Conditioned City,” and civic officials distribute free lemonade on the infrequent days when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.
NAMED FOR: The county’s vast mineral resources
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Mineral County was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1866.
FAMOUS FOR: Its rich colonial and Civil War-era historical sites as well as its Industrial era history
NAMED FOR: The Mingo Indians
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Most of the Hatfields involved in the Hatfield/McCoy feud lived in what became Mingo County. The Matewan Massacre also led up to the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest armed uprising in the United States since the Civil War.
FAMOUS FOR: The Matewan Massacre in May 1920
NAMED FOR: The Monongahela River
MOMENT IN HISTORY: West Virginia University was founded in 1867.
FAMOUS FOR: Home of West Virginia University
NAMED FOR: James Monroe, governor of Virginia and U.S. president
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Miners at Haynes Cave, a saltpeter mine, found unusual bones in the 18th century and mailed them to Thomas Jefferson. His study of the bones was the birth of American paleontology.
FAMOUS FOR: Home of Farmer’s Day, Monroe County’s own holiday.
NAMED FOR: Revolutionary War Gen. Daniel Morgan
MOMENT IN HISTORY: George Washington was among the surveyors who discussed the “famed warm springs” of the area. His accounts helped drive early tourism to Morgan County and Berkeley Springs.
FAMOUS FOR: The thermal springs from which mineral water flows
NAMED FOR: Wilson Cary Nicholas (1761–1820), a Virginia governor and U.S. senator
MOMENT IN HISTORY: The county is rich in Civil War history with several battlefields. In July 1861, Confederate spy Nancy Hart led an attack that burned most of Summersville to the ground. She was later captured and jailed but used her beauty to lure a guard into giving her his pistol, whereupon she shot him dead and escaped.
FAMOUS FOR: Whitewater rafting on the Lower Gauley River
NAMED FOR: The Ohio River
MOMENT IN HISTORY: West Virginia was created at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling with discussions beginning in 1861.
FAMOUS FOR: In 1863, West Virginia’s first capital was Wheeling.
NAMED FOR: Virginia statesman Edmund Pendleton
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1965, Congress created the 100,000-acre Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area.
FAMOUS FOR: Spruce Knob, the highest point in the state and in the Allegheny Mountain range
NAMED FOR: James Pleasants, governor of Virginia (1822–24)
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In 1882, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad decided to extend down the Ohio from Wheeling to Parkersburg. When completed, the rail line opened transportation and communication for the county regardless of weather or river conditions. After World War II, large industry moved into the county.
FAMOUS FOR: The county seat of St. Marys was founded in 1849 by Alexander Creel, who — popular legend states — had a vision of the Virgin Mary while passing the site in a boat. She directed him to look at the (West) Virginia shore, saying that a happy and prosperous city would be built there.
NAMED FOR: Native American Princess Pocahontas
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Movements by a Union force in late 1863 resulted in the last significant Civil War battle in West Virginia, at Droop Mountain on Nov. 6. The federal victory helped assure Northern control and thus the survival of the new state.
FAMOUS FOR: Pocahontas County is the home of Snowshoe Ski Resort and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory near Green Bank.
NAMED FOR: James Patton Preston, then-governor of Virginia
MOMENT IN HISTORY: The Virginia General Assembly established Preston County on Jan. 19, 1818, taking the land from Monongalia County.
FAMOUS FOR: The Buckwheat Festival held each fall
NAMED FOR: Gen. Israel Putnam, who commanded the Continental Army at Bunker Hill
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Nitro, a World War I boom town, was completed in 11 months in 1918. The town on the Putnam-Kanawha county line had 25,000 people and the plant was producing 700,000 pounds of gunpowder per day when the war ended in the same year.
FAMOUS FOR: Its industry, including chemicals, railroads and the Toyota plant at Buffalo
NAMED FOR: Sir Walter Raleigh, Englishman who was involved in the colonization of Virginia.
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Two major mining disasters have taken place in Raleigh County. The first was the Eccles mine disaster, which took the lives of 180 miners in 1914. The second was Upper Big Branch, in which 29 miners died in 2010.
FAMOUS FOR: Home of the following: the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd; musician Little Jimmy Dickens; former Congressman E.H. Hedrick; U.S. Sen. Harley M. Kilgore; Jon McBride, astronaut; Gov. Clarence W. Meadows; Congressman Nick Joe Rahall; Chris Sarandon, movie and television actor; former Congressman Joe L. Smith Sr.; Gov. Hulett C. Smith; and John Roscoe Turner, a president of West Virginia University.
NAMED FOR: Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia and later attorney general and secretary of state of the United States
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Davis & Elkins College, founded in Elkins in 1904, was named in honor of its two patrons, Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen B. Elkins. The college is a four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.
FAMOUS FOR: The West Virginia Forest Festival, which takes place each fall
NAMED FOR: Virginia journalist and politician Thomas Ritchie
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Ritchie County was home for 50 years to George Lemon (1788–1866), a pioneer in the petroleum industry.
FAMOUS FOR: North Bend State Park, located on the North Fork of Hughes River near Cairo, features a 30-room lodge, eight cabins and two riverside campgrounds.
NAMED FOR: Judge Spencer Roane
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Col. Ruby Bradley (1907–2002), decorated military nurse and war heroine, is among the notable Roane Countians.
FAMOUS FOR: Charles Fork Lake is the location of the annual Tour de Lake bike race, and during the second week of October Spencer hosts the Black Walnut Festival.
NAMED FOR: George W. Summers (1804–68), a noted jurist, legislator and one of West Virginia’s founders.
MOMENT IN HISTORY: The legendary John Henry helped build Great Bend Tunnel at Talcott, memorialized in the folk song as the Big Bend Tunnel.
FAMOUS FOR: The City of Hinton hosts two major annual events, the Water Festival in August and Railroad Days in October.
NAMED FOR: U.S. Sen. John Taylor (1753–1824), a soldier-statesman from Caroline County, Va.
MOMENT IN HISTORY: On May 22, 1861, Thornsberry Bailey Brown became the first Union soldier killed in the Civil War. He is buried in the Grafton National Cemetery. The Grafton and West Virginia national cemeteries, both in Taylor County, are the only national cemeteries in West Virginia.
FAMOUS FOR: Taylor County is home to Anna Jarvis, who created Mother’s Day. Grafton is home to the International Mother’s Day Shrine.
NAMED FOR: Henry St. George Tucker Sr. (1780–1848), a Virginia soldier, statesman and jurist
MOMENT IN HISTORY: The Battle of Corricks Ford occurred July 13, 1861, when Confederates led by Gen. Robert Selden Garnett encountered U.S. troops under Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Morris. Garnett died in the battle, the first general to be killed in the Civil War.
FAMOUS FOR: Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks and the privately owned Timberline Resort are year-round attractions, with Canaan and Timberline among the state’s top ski resorts. The tiny Fairfax Stone State Park also sees hundreds of visitors yearly.
NAMED FOR: John Tyler, governor of Virginia (1808–11) and father of President John Tyler
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Though not born there, West Virginia’s first governor, Arthur I. Boreman, received his early education in Middlebourne. Pitcher Wilbur “Lefty” Cooper, who spent 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was born on Davis Run in 1892. Gov. Cecil H. Underwood was born in 1922 near Josephs Mills. Underwood, a Republican, was both the oldest and youngest governor West Virginia has had.
FAMOUS FOR: Sistersville’s Oil and Gas Festival, which celebrates the area’s industrial heritage
NAMED FOR: Abel Parker Upshur, a distinguished statesman and jurist of Virginia
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In the 1760s, John and Samuel Pringle, deserters from the British army at Fort Pitt, made their way into the area and for about three years lived in a hollow sycamore tree on the banks of the Buckhannon River.
FAMOUS FOR: The West Virginia Strawberry Festival, founded in 1936
NAMED FOR: Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero who later defeated Ohio Indian tribes at the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers.
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Ceredo was founded in 1857 as an antislavery experiment by a group headed by Eli Thayer, a congressman from Massachusetts. Ceredo was the site of a Union stronghold, Fort Pierpont, during the Civil War. It was incorporated in 1866.
FAMOUS FOR: Home of Camden Park near Huntington, which is West Virginia’s only surviving amusement park
NAMED FOR: Daniel Webster
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Created just before the outbreak of the Civil War, organization of the county government did not occur for several years. There was no government in the county and no taxes were collected. The area was popularly called the “Independent State of Webster,” which had its own “governor” by the name of George Sawyer.
FAMOUS FOR: Since 1960, Webster County has been the site of the West Virginia Woodchopping Festival.
NAMED FOR: Indian fighter Lewis Wetzel
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Oil and gas exploration and development began with the drilling of the first gas well in 1886 in Hundred, which is still producing.
FAMOUS FOR: Wetzel County’s northern border is the Mason Dixon line.
NAMED FOR: Virginia statesman William Wirt
MOMENT IN HISTORY: On May 9, 1863, a Confederate raiding party under Gen. William E. Jones set fire to the Burning Springs oil field and to crude oil stored in the area. The destruction of equipment and property, along with the loss of future production, was extremely costly.
FAMOUS FOR: Jessica Lynch, an early heroine of the Iraq War, is among Wirt County’s best-known residents.
NAMED FOR: James Wood, Virginia’s governor from 1796 to 1800.
MOMENT IN HISTORY: In Parkersburg the first free school south of the Mason-Dixon line was established in 1862 for African-Americans, the first public high school diplomas issued in the state were awarded to Parkersburg High School graduates in 1874, and the first high school diplomas to be issued to African-Americans were granted at Sumner School in 1887.
FAMOUS FOR: The county was in 1863 the home of four of the founders of West Virginia: Arthur Ingraham Boreman (the state’s first governor), William Erskine Stevenson (the first president of the state Senate), Peter Godwin Van Winkle (one of the state’s first two U.S. senators) and Jacob Beeson Blair (a member of the U.S. House of Representatives). It was also the home of the state’s first federal judge, John Jay Jackson Jr.
NAMED FOR: The Delaware Indian word meaning “large plains.”
MOMENT IN HISTORY: Oceana, established in 1797 by early settler and Revolutionary War veteran John Cooke, was the seat of government until the county seat was moved to Pineville when that town was incorporated in 1907. A handsome courthouse was built in 1916 of native stone from a local quarry.
FAMOUS FOR: Home of NBA coach Mike D’Antoni; professional boxer Christy Martin; professional wrestlers Jamie Noble, Heath Slater and Rocky Blankenship; football player Curt Warner; professional archer Charles Davis; and football player and actor Bernie Casey.
- Local News
Three Rivers Festival features variety of entertainment
The 34th annual West Virginia Three Rivers Festival started in fine form Thursday night with a grand feature parade through downtown Fairmont, ending at Palatine Park with opening ceremonies.
The parade launches the annual festival, which draws many to the city’s Palatine Park for fun-filled activities for the young and the young at heart.
County pools opening for summer
For many, Memorial Day weekend marks the real beginning of summer.
And nothing says summer like hitting the pool.
The 12th Street Park and Mannington pools and the East Marion Park Wave Pool open Saturday for the summer, offering families the chance to beat the heat and enjoy a day of fun in the water.
Julia Pierpont Day celebration Saturday
Members of the community are invited to kick off Memorial Day Weekend at the 9th annual Julia Pierpont Day celebration, set for Saturday.
Adding value to food sector can be spark to economy
Officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Education and the USDA visited Pierpont Community & Technical College Wednesday as part of the Appalachian Foodways Tour.
County Department of Homeland Security debuts Facebook page
In today’s instant news world, information travels fast.
And, unfortunately, so does misinformation.
The Marion County Department of Homeland Security debuted its new Facebook page Wednesday to both alert the county on impending emergencies and dispel rumors about unfolding events.
Big name in competitive eating arrives today
The biggest name in competitive eating arrives in Fairmont today.
In its third year, the annual Three Rivers Festival Pepperoni Roll Eating World Competition has attracted some major-league talent, including the famous Joey Chestnut, six-time consecutive winner of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Adult & Community Education Center students mark milestone: PHOTOS
Students of the Marion County Adult & Community Education Center celebrated their completion of the General Education Development test at a graduation ceremony Tuesday evening at the Feaster Center on the campus of Fairmont State University.
Hearing set for murder suspects
The two men indicted in the 1974 triple Windmill Park murders will share a pretrial hearing on June 25.
According to records obtained at the Marion County Circuit Court, a hearing for Eddie Jack Washington and Phillip Reese Bush is set for 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, in front of Circuit Judge Michael Aloi.
Gravel, fuel spills cause traffic delays in county
Once again, drivers were forced to take a detour from Interstate 79.
This time, instead of near mile marker 139 northbound, it was at the southbound 136 mile marker near Pleasant Valley.
Pierpont to move some classrooms, offices downtown
Pierpont Community & Technical College has announced its plan to move some of its classrooms and administrative offices from its shared campus with Fairmont State University to Veterans’ Square in downtown Fairmont.
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- Three Rivers Festival features variety of entertainment