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West Virginia Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 19, 2020

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 West Virginia ranks 25th among states and provinces with markers in this database. West Virginia is a state in the United States of America located in the American South. It is also in the Appalachia region. West Virginia is some 24 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 1.8 million people. The state is divided into 55 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In West Virginia we have discovered historical markers in 377 cities and towns lying in 309 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in West Virginia? There are least 1,879 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 1,724 historical markers and 80 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 1,785 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 1.3% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 155 historical markers in West Virginia that we donít yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first West Virginia marker in the database, The Mingo, was added May 10, 2006. It was photographed in Wheeling in Ohio County and was erected in 1928. The last one added was submitted on February 10, 2020, and titled Jones' Raid. It is near Rivesville in Marion County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in West Virginia was erected in 1870. It was this one: Confederate Dead, and one of our correspondents found it in Shepherdstown in Jefferson County on August 30, 2017.

West Virginia Historical Categories
604 • Civil War
341 • Settlements and Settlers
230 • Industry and Commerce
123 • Education
110 • Colonial Era
102 • Churches and Religion
99 • Revolutionary War
88 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
87 • African Americans
86 • Waterways and Vessels
    ... and more ...

West Virginians donít want to forget their Civil War history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from West Virginia about the Civil Waró604 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 341 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War category was Paw Paw, added July 21, 2006. It had been erected in Paw Paw in Morgan County. The last one submitted also was submitted on February 10, 2020, and titled Jones' Raid. It had been erected near Rivesville in Marion County. The earliest marker erected with the Civil War category that we have listed was erected in 1870. It was Confederate Dead, found in Shepherdstown in Jefferson County on August 30, 2017.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The West Virginia county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Jefferson County, with 296 of them. It is followed by Monongalia County with 87 markers. The Harpers Ferry area of Jefferson County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 168. In Monongalia County the area with the most markers, 62, is Morgantown.

Historical Markers in These
West Virginia Counties
296 • Jefferson County
87 • Monongalia County
83 • Berkeley County
80 • Randolph County
77 • Kanawha County
74 • Ohio County
74 • Morgan County
64 • Fayette County
62 • Greenbrier County
52 • Pocahontas County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in West Virginia with the most markers we again find Harpers Ferry at the top of the list with 168 markers in or near it. It is followed by Wheeling in Ohio County with 67 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 25425 at the top of the list with 173 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 25425 is assigned to Harpers Ferry WV including the Bolivar delivery area.) It is followed by ZIP Code 26003 with 69 markers. (26003 is assigned to Wheeling WV including the Bethlehem, Elm Grove, Mozart, Overbrook, and Warwood delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
West Virginia Cities and Towns
168 • Harpers Ferry
67 • Wheeling
64 • Berkeley Springs
62 • Morgantown
61 • Charles Town
51 • Martinsburg
42 • Charleston
42 • Shepherdstown
38 • Beverly
36 • Parkersburg
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Jefferson County, the first marker added to the database from there, Keyes Gap, was added April 29, 2007. near Harpers Ferry. The last one submitted was uploaded on December 29, 2019, and is titled Chimney, in Harpers Ferry. The earliest marker erected in Jefferson County that we have listed was erected in 1870. It was Confederate Dead, found in Shepherdstown on August 30, 2017.

Latest entry from West Virginia. Click to go there
By Mike Wintermantel
Latest Entry from West Virginia
“Jones' Raid”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Wheeling. The first we touched on earlier: The Mingo. The last: The Steamboat "Washington" added on November 9, 2019. It had been erected in 2014. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1880: To The Defenders of the Union,, added on January 16, 2011.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

West Virginia Archives and History is currently in charge of the familiar silver and black double-sided official historical markers found all over the state. You will also find official markers erected by the West Virginia Historic Commission, a predecessor. We have 491 of their markers in the database.

In addition, West Virginia Civil War Trailsónot government affiliatedóalso erected numerous historical markers, and we have 508 of their West Virginia markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from West Virginia. Click to go there
By Roger Miller, June 12, 2017
A West Virginia Archives and History Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of West Virginia have been marked with history. Check out Mingo County, Webster County and Lincoln County. We've only found, respectively, 4, 3, and 3 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of West Virginia might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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