Happy Birthday, West Virginia!

The West Virginia State Capitol. June 2014.

Happy West Virginia Day, my friends. As promised, here is a list of some of your favorite things about West Virginia. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts and love for our great state.

  • Honeysuckle and the smell of fresh earth drifting on the breeze during Spring planting.” —  Carrie L. , Topeka, Kansas
  •  “Coming home to WV (which I do every few months) restores what that hustle and bustle takes away from me. As soon as I hit those mountains, I feel refreshed, at peace and like I can breath again…For me, West Virginia brings a close-knit family both blood, friends, and neighbors. West Virginia accepts me with open arms as if I have never left. West Virginia provides the most breathtaking scenery I can imagine and it makes you feel lucky to be part of it as a West Virginian. All in all, West Virginia brings me happiness that no other location in the world could provide. Oh yeah, can’t forget the most important things, WV gives us Tudor’s and Huskeys!” — Megan P., Washington D.C.
  • Hot dogs.” — Dustin T., Columbus, Ohio
  • “The history, which is still playing out, for good or ill. And it is one of the areas in the US that still has its music.” — Paul G., Tango, West Virginia.
  • The people. There are kind, humble, helpful, wise, and honest people everywhere, but I met far more of them back home. Pepperoni rolls. And hearing my alma mater West Virginia Wesleyan College’s song “My Home Among the Hills,” which I think is far and away the prettiest song about the state.” — Molly M., Aurora, Illinois
  • “As someone who grew up along the Ohio River and has spent his life in both Ohio and West Virginia, I’ve long felt sad that so many West Virginians are so quick to put down their home state. It’s something Ohioans rarely do. Our small group of old friends has spent 3-6 days every summer camping in the Potomac Highlands for 28 years now. Most of us make additional trips to the mountains as well.  Every year we experience the same phenomenon. Upon returning from the mountains to Parkersburg-Marietta, our hometowns feel like we are breathing mud and sound like we are in downtown Pittsburgh. It takes days to get reacclimated and leaves us yearning to get back to the mountains. To me, West Virginia is about peace and quiet, solitude and reflection, nature and friendship. If you’re asking for the “best parts” of West Virginia, my vote is for the entire eastern third of the state. ” — Michael Cullums, Marietta, Ohio

Seneca Rocks

  •  “Ramp dinners in Helvetia, summertime floats trips (pick a river), The Palace of Gold, mineral baths of Berkeley Springs.” — Vasilia, Charleston, W.Va.
  •  “Festivall,” the Festivall Twitter account.
  • “Dolly Sods, Seneca Rocks, the New River Gorge — all the natural beauty. Wheeling, Point Pleasant, Martinsburg, Lewisburg…” — Adam H., Charleston, W.Va.
  •  “Young Chow’s in Beckley. Not typical buffet dreck; a great restaurant that happens to serve Chinese. Fave rest. in WV.” — Chris J. , Huntington, W.Va.
  • When I step out of my parents’ front door (Monroe County) at night, and I see stars that I’m pretty sure you can’t see anywhere else…there must be more stars there than anywhere else in the world!  And the first glimpse of the capitol building when I round the curve on I-77 after I’ve been out of town…I always greet it with a sigh that says, “I’m home!” — Monica W.,  Charleston, W.Va.
  • “Food! Sunsets over gentle mountains. Tradition and culture.” — Katie C., Evans, W.Va.
  • “The women.” — Doug D., Charleston, W.Va.
  • “The mountains.” — Drema W., Charleston, W.Va.
  • “The mountains. The food. The people. There’s no place like home.” — Summer J., Sissonville, W.Va.
  • People, Capitol building, weather (all four seasons ), pizza bread, pepperoni rolls and so much more!! Oh, and slaw and chili on a hot dog!!” – Christina J., Elkview, W.Va.
  • The freedoms we enjoy that other states rob from their citizens. We trust our people with allowing them their rights to own and carry firearms for one. We also don’t limit the size of their big gulps.” — Michl L., Sissonville, W.Va.
  • Freedom to pass from the city to the wild with ease.” — Tye W.

Bridge Day

  • I love the music of West Virginia. I love seeing 90-year-olds teach and learn from teenagers at Old-Time Music events around the state. I love that almost everyone I know plays or sings. I love that so many people in this state create. Whether it be needlecrafts, quilting, knitting,  pottery, knifemaking, music, etc., so many of our people create beauty! I love walking in the forests, swimming in the streams, and just experiencing the beauty of our fine State. I love what I call, ‘That West Virginia Thing’: that when you meet someone from West Virginia for the first time anywhere in the world, you will almost always find a connection, mutual friends, family, or at least places! And I love the deep connection so many of us have with the place we live. We know the sights, sounds, and history of where we are from.” — Paul D., Charleston, W.Va.
  • Whippoorwills on misty evenings!” — Sarah S., Sissonville, W.Va.
  • Does Tudors Biscuit World count?” – Joey H., Mount Vernon, Ohio.
  • “The people.” — Chad C., Parkersburg, W.Va.
  • “I complain about the grass and weeds but when we traveled to New Mexico, I really missed the green that we have here. Of course, that’s not exactly unique to WV. Also here, for the most part, people are friendly. I’ve done experiments in Albuquerque and northern Va., saying hello to random people on the street. People in Charleston are more likely to respond in a nice way.” — Gary K., Sissonville, W.Va.


Did we miss anything? Feel free to leave it in the comments!

One thought on “Happy Birthday, West Virginia!

  1. Tawna Sue says:

    West Virginia, where my bloodlines mix and merge. Where this Ohio-born Appalachian by-Proxy, spent 9 years, found her roots, found who she was and ironically, also found the love of her life. It’s my great grandmothers cast iron skillet, full of corn bread, a bowl of pintos, the way the driving across that bridge and into those mountains feels like slipping off your shoes after a long day. It’s the instant interconnectivity you feel when you see a West Virginia License plate. No matter where I was born, where I travel or where I am when I close my eyes for the last time. West Virginia is home.

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