History in These Hills: The First Campaign of the Civil War

Did you know that West Virginia was home to the first land battle of the American Civil War? Specifically, Randolph County and the surrounding area? This particular area of the state is full of Civil War history. Discover for yourself the story of how the Civil War began, how it shaped our county, and how West Virginia became the 35th state in the Union through our museums […]

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Experience West Virginia’s Railroad and Logging Heritage at Cass Scenic Railroad

Taking a trip to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a full-body experience that stimulates all five senses. See stunning mountain scenery as you travel through the forest. Listen to the engineer blow the whistle and hear the chug of the engine and the squeal of the brakes. Smell the smoke from the coal-fired, steam-powered engine. Taste the “hobo” sack lunch (look out or you […]

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Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Tells the History of Mental Health in the United States

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, located in Weston, was a state mental hospital that operated from 1864 to 1995. The asylum is now open to the public as a tourist attraction and offers historic and paranormal tours April through November, as well as an annual costume Ball and other seasonal events. Visitors can enjoy daytime historic tours of the first and fourth floors, as well as […]

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The Real Story of Stephen Elkins and the Outlaw Cole Younger

Senators Stephen B. Elkins and Henry Gassaway Davis are best known as senators and industrialists who developed the railroad, timber, and coal industries around Randolph County, and are the namesakes of the towns of Elkins, Davis, Gassaway, and Davis & Elkins College. But it is rumored that they were actually the outlaws Frank and Jesse James of the infamous James Gang. Listen or read below […]

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Experience the History of All Things Glass in Weston

The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia, located in Weston, is a free museum that tells the story of glass manufacturing and glassware in the United States and West Virginia. With thousands of beautiful pieces on display, this museum has something for everyone to enjoy. The museum has been open since 1993. Weston is a fitting location for the museum because the town was […]

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Ramps are a stinky springtime specialty

Springtime in West Virginia means it’s ramp season. Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are a wild edible plant that’s known as the first green of the season. The plant has been eaten for generations as a spring tonic and is nowadays celebrated across the country at community festivals small and large called ramp feeds. If you’re not from West Virginia or Appalachia you might […]

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Riverside: the heart of Elkins’ Black community for 50 years

From 1905-1954 the Riverside School was the only public school for African-Americans in Randolph County, and is one of the oldest public school buildings in Elkins. Because they were excluded from white schools, the only educational opportunities available to African-Americans in Randolph County around 1900 were those offered in independent institutions like private homes or local churches. Classes were held in places like in Shiloh […]

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Camp Chase: West Virginia Song Tells Civil War History

Old-time music from West Virginia is known for several family traditions that continue to this day, like the music of the Hammons family and the Kessinger brothers. Another well-known musical family was the Carpenter family who are said to be some of the original white inhabitants of what is now central West Virginia. The family produced many highly-regarded fiddlers like Solomon “Devil Sol”, Ernie, and […]

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Cheat Mountain’s Unique Ecological and Cultural Heritage

Did you know that the namesake of the Cheat Mountain Salamander excursion train is found only in West Virginia? This rare critter is found in Grant, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, and Tucker counties and is one of the few vertebrate species unique to the Mountain State. The Cheat Mountain salamander’s tail is shorter than the length of its body and head, which helps distinguish it from […]

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