Established in 1863, West Virginia boasts a unique and colorful history. It is the only state in the union to have been formed by proclamation of the President of the United States. It was originally part of the British Virginia Colony (1607–1776) and the western part of the state of Virginia (1776–1863), whose population became sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union. Following its separation from Virginia, the new state was formalized by admittance to the Union on June 20, 1863 and thereafter known as the State of West Virginia.
WILD AND WONDERFUL
West Virginia's history has been profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain, fertile river valleys, and rich natural resources. These were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of residents, as well as drawing an increasing number of visitors to the Mountain State in recent years. Its scenic beauty offers a vast array of stunning mountain vistas, lush woodlands, spectacular caverns, and inviting lakes. Known as an idyllic "playground for nature and outdoor enthusiasts," West Virginia has more than 1.6 million acres of state and national park lands, forests, and wildlife refuges with great opportunities for taking advantage of the wild and wonderful natural resources that people living here experience every day. One visit, and you'll see why West Virginia has long been synonymous with the phrase Almost Heaven.