West Virginia Executive Summer 2014 - Page 90

Grant Jackson Logan McDowell The Petersburg Wave, a powerful updraft that is strongest in early spring, attracts glider pilots from all over the country every March. Ripley was the site of the last public hanging in West Virginia in 1897 when John F. Morgan was hanged for the murder of three members of the Pfost‑Greene family on December 16. In 1921, Logan was the location of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the most spectacular confrontation in West Virginia labor history and the culminating event in the era known as the Mine Wars. It’s estimated that anywhere from 7,000-20,000 miners marched, and the arrival of 2,500 federal troops brought the conflict to an end. Coalwood was the hometown of Homer Hickam, a NASA engineer whose life, starting from his teenage years, was documented in “Rocket Boys,” a novel later made into the film “October Sky.” Greenbrier A vast system of limestone caves, totaling 1,199 caves of all sizes, lies beneath Greenbrier County, including 412 caves over 33 feet in length. Hampshire The oldest county in West Virginia was created in 1754 from parts of Frederick and Augusta counties and named for the English shire of the same name. Hancock Originally part of Brooke County, Hancock County was named for John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hardy Near Wardensville, the Lost River disappears under Sandy Ridge and reappears over four miles away at the headwaters of the Cacapon River. Harrison The roots of Shinnston date back to 1778 when Levi Shinn constructed his log home. The log house, located along Route 19, is the oldest standing structure in North Central West Virginia. 90 Jefferson John Brown was tried in Harpers Ferry in October 1859 after his raid on the federal armory. Brown was sentenced to death, and on December 2, 1859, he was hanged. John Wilkes Booth was among those who attended the Brown execution. Kanawha The town of Nitro was established by the federal government and selected in 1914 for the site of the world’s largest gun powder plant. Ground for the plant was broken in December 1917, but World War I ended before any gun powder was ever shipped. Lewis Weston is home to what was once the state’s oldest and largest mental institution, the TransAllegheny Lunatic Asylum. The asylum, which opened in 1864, is the largest hand-cut stone building in the United States. Lincoln Lincoln County is the birthplace of General Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier. west virginia executive Marion The main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railway traversed Marion County in the early 1850s. The arrival of the railroad transformed the region, making it a place of strategic importance during the Civil War and preparing the way for the exploitation of the county’s natural resources in the post-war period. Marshall Moundsville, the county seat, is home to the Grave Creek Indian Mound, believed to be the largest in the world at 69 feet high and 900 feet in circumference. Mason Paranormal enthusiasts flock to Point Pleasant in search of the Mothman, a creature said to be a harbinger of imminent disaster that inhabits an abandoned TNT factory from World War II. Mercer and his son, William “Punch” Jones. Morgan Paw Paw is home to the West Virginia Open Disc Golf Championship, which takes place on two private, 18-hole courses called The Woodshed and The Whipping Post. Bramwell was considered the richest town in the United States in the early 20th century. More than 14 millionaires once occupied the town. Nicholas Mineral Ohio Nancy Hanks, mother of Abraham Lincoln, was born on the eastern slope of Saddle Mountain where her family settled in the early 1780s. Wheeling, the birthplace of West Virginia, was the location of the last battle of the American Revolution, fought at Fort Henry in September 1782. Mingo Richwood calls itself the Ramp Capital of the World and hosts a large festival every April in honor of the pungent wild leek. The town of Matewan is the area in which the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky engaged in their infamous war. Pendleton Monongalia Pleasants Morgantown, the county seat, is home to West Virginia University’s (WVU) Personal Rapid Transit System, the world’s first totally automated transportation system, which connects WVU’s campuses with the downtown area. The county seat of St. Marys rests on the banks of the Ohio River. Alexander H. Creel named the town in 1849 in honor of the Virgin Mary, who Creel claimed appeared to him in a vision while he was aboard a steamer passing the area. Monroe Monroe County was the site of the 1928 discovery of the 34.48 carat Jones Diamond by Grover C. Jones Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia at an elevation of 4,861 feet, is located at Seneca Rocks. Pocahontas Known as the Birthplace of Rivers, eight rivers have their source in this