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Overview

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.

History

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 1900s 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.

Transportation

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.

Attractions

  • 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

Activities

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.

Higher Education

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.

People

Total Population 50,566
Male Share of the Population 48.8%
Female Share of the Population 51.2%
Senior Citizens 16.7%
Employed Population 16+ 23,083
Age of the Population 42

Families

% of people married 40.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 39.7%
Median Earnings25+ $37,001
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $12,468
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,229

Wealth

Median Family Income $64,777
% Above Poverty Level 80.4%
% Below Poverty Level 19.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 2.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5.5%
% Using Public Transportation 3.4%

Housing

People Living Alone 39.7%
Median Gross Rent $691
Median House Value $144,400

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 25.5%
US/American 0%
English 14.3%
Irish 13.5%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Charleston Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 133 miles SE of Columbus, Ohio
County Kanawha
Metro Area Charleston
Standard Zip Codes 25301, 25302, 25303, 25304, 25305, 25306, 25309, 25311, 25312, 25313, 25314, 25315, 25320, 25387, 25389
P.O. Box Zip Codes 25321, 25322, 25323, 25324, 25325, 25326, 25327, 25328, 25329, 25330, 25331, 25332, 25333, 25334, 25335, 25336, 25337, 25338, 25339, 25350, 25356, 25357, 25358, 25360, 25361, 25362, 25364, 25365, 25375
Company Zip Codes 25317, 25392, 25396
Phone Area Codes 304
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.349
Longitude -81.632

Charleston Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station CHARLESTON YEAGER AP
Distance 3.5 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 43 F
Apr Temp 42 to 67 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 43 to 67 F
Annual Precip 44 inches
Station CLENDENIN
Distance 18.7 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 42 F
Apr Temp 38 to 67 F
Jul Temp 62 to 87 F
Oct Temp 41 to 69 F
Annual Precip 48.4 inches
Station MADISON 3 NNW
Distance 20.9 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 43 F
Apr Temp 39 to 69 F
Jul Temp 63 to 87 F
Oct Temp 41 to 69 F
Annual Precip 47.8 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Charleston, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Big Chimney (25302)

Kanawha City (25304)

Malden (25306)

Spring Hill (25309)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Belle 1,247 $50,156
Dunbar 7,798 $49,537
Jefferson 800 $26,875
Marmet 1,570 $51,250
Nitro 6,711 $51,006
South Charleston 13,276 $58,321

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Charleston Public Libraries

Library
Kanawha County
123 CAPITOL ST.
Charleston, West Virginia
(304) 343-4646
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Charleston Hospitals

CHARLESTON SURGICAL HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
1306 KANAWHA BL E
(304) 343-4371
Emergency Service: No

ST FRANCIS HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
333 LAIDLEY ST
(304) 347-6500
Emergency Service: Yes

CHARLESTON AREA MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
501 MORRIS STREET
(304) 388-6203
Emergency Service: Yes

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
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Charleston High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

CAPITAL HIGH SCHOOL
1500 GREENBRIER ST
304-348-6500
Serves 1,442 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.4

GEO WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
1522 TENNIS CLUB RD
304-348-7729
Serves 933 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.7

SISSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
6100 SISSONVILLE DR
304-348-1954
Serves 665 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.6

KANAWHA COUNTY SCHOOLS ACADEMY
200 ELIZABETH STREET
304-348-7731
A Non-traditional School
Serves 121 students.

CARVER VOCATIONAL CENTER
4799 MIDLAND DR
304-348-1965
A Vocational School

Additional Details
Charleston Colleges
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Charleston Graduate Schools
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