The Online Library of Knowledge

States of the US

West Virginia

A map of West VirginiaA map of West VirginiaThe state of West Virginia is located in the eastern central region of the United States. Nicknamed the "Mountain State”, almost its entire area is hilly, rugged and covered with thick deciduous forest. Much of the state lies on the Allegheny Plateau, part of the Appalachian Mountains. West Virginia’s winding border with Virginia follows the eastern escarpment (sloping edge) of this plateau. The underlying rocks are mostly limestone, and the state has many karst features, including caves. West Virginia is known for its logging and mining industries, based on its plentiful resources of wood and coal.

New River Gorge Bridge, near FayettevilleNew River Gorge Bridge, near Fayetteville

A view of the historic town of Harpers FerryA view of the historic town of Harpers Ferry


The name Virginia may have been proposed by Sir Walter Raleigh (1552–1618) for his new colony in America, naming it after Queen Elizabeth I, known as the "Virgin Queen”. Alternatively, Virginia may have come from Wingina, the name of the leader of the native Algonquian-speaking people at the time Raleigh was seeking to establish his colony on Roanoke Island.

However the name was arrived at, Virginia originally the name for to the entire east coastal region of America, extending from Maine to South Carolina and including the island of Bermuda. West Virginia came into being when the western part of the state separated from the rest of Virginia in 1863.


Shepherdstown, West Virginia is said to be the most haunted town in America.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile