West Virginia Facts

Some interesting facts about West Virginia you may not know – Part 1

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West Virginia native Chuck Yeager was the first person to break the sound barrier.
West Virginia native Chuck Yeager was the first person to break the sound barrier.

There is no state like West Virginia. For those of who live or have lived there, we know the state is rich in scenery and history. A older coworker of mine originally from St. Albans handed me a printout of facts about the Mountain State originally published in the Charleston Daily Mail in 2002. It is a lengthy list — well over 100 items total — and I thought I would share some of the more interesting ones a little at a time.

Enjoy. Learn. Comment. Share.

Here are a few to start:

-West Virginia is the only state created from another state.

– Chuck Yeager, born in Myra, WV, was the first person to break the sound barrier. He did that in 1947. One year later, on Dec. 7, he flew an F-80 Shooting Star under the Patrick Street Bridge and did a barrel roll over the South Side Bridge. He was the first person to do that.

– In 1862, the first free school for African-Americans in the South opened in Parkersburg.

– The West Virginia Geological Survey shows there is no native gold or silver in the state.

– Actor Soupy Sales grew up in Huntington and received a journalism degree from Marshall. By 1961, the “Soupy Sales Show” was the No. 1 show in Los Angeles.

– Berkeley Springs has more massage therapists than lawyers.

– Outdoor advertising originated in Wheeling around 1908 when the Bloch Brothers Tobacco Co. painted bridges and barns with the words, “Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch.”

– The largest and oldest white oak tree on record in the country was declared dead an cut down in 1938 in Mingo Co. It’s estimated age was 582 years.

– The first electric railroad in the world built as a commercial enterprise was constructed between Huntington and Guyandotte.

– Sam Snead, born in Hot Springs, Va., became a pro at The Greenbriar. After winning several local tournaments, Snead became one of golf’s greatest players, winning 81 PGA Tour events including winning the Green Jacket at the Masters three different times. He won the PGA Championship 3 times and the British Open once.