Introduction to Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is the capital of West Virginia and is situated at the convergence of the Elk River and the Kanawha River in Kanawha County. The city is located in the Appalachian Mountains.
Fort Lee was constructed in the year 1788 by Colonel Clendenin and a group of Virginia Rangers and is recognized as the first permanent settlement in the area. The town was named Charleston in tribute to Colonel Clendenin's Father whose name was Charles. In 1794 the city was officially established by the Virginia General Assembly. The Salt brines that were situated by the side of the Kanawha River were discovered in the early 1800's and the first salt well was created in 1806. Due to the salt brine the economy began to thrive. The Charleston area became one of the leading producers of salt in the entire world.
During the Civil War, Virginia withdrew from the Union and the loyalty of the citizens of Charleston was divided between the Confederates and the Union. The Confederate Army defeated the Union Army in The Battle of Charleston, however shortly after the battle ended, the Union Army returned and occupied the area until the war was over. Abraham Lincoln declared that the northwestern part of the state of Virginia be given back to the Union and in 1863 West Virginia became a Union state. The economy during the 1900's prospered primarily due to coal and gas and the expansion of the railroad in the area. Chemical, steel, timber, glass and other types of industries moved to Charleston primarily due to the vast amount of natural resources that were available.
The town is served by the Yeager Airport. Amtrack offers rail transportation for Charleston. The city is also served by the The Kanawha Valley Regional Transit Authority.
- The West Virginia State Capital
- Governor's Mansion
- Holly Grove Mansion
- Avampato Discovery Museum
- South Charleston Museum
- West Virginia State Museum
- Sunrise Museum
- St. George Orthodox Cathedral
- Charleston Civic Center
- Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
- Cato Park
- Kanawha State Forest
The nearby area of Charleston offers residents and visitors excellent opportunities for outdoor activities such as rafting, skiing, hiking and biking. Charleston is host to a wide variety of festivals and fairs.
The University of Charleston, a campus of West Virginia University and WV Junior College are situated in Charleston. West Virginia State University Institute as well as the Marshall University Graduate College are located in the area.