Local traditions and culture in West Virginia

  • Pepperoni roll
    Pepperoni roll
    by Florida999
  • Local Customs
    by traveldave
  • Pete and Re-Pete post injury March 2007
    Pete and Re-Pete post injury March 2007
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Most Viewed Local Customs in West Virginia

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    Coal

    by traveldave Updated Aug 5, 2012

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    Coal and the mining of coal is almost synonymous with West Virginia, and many people think of coal when they think of West Virginia. For over 150 years, coal mining has been an important part of the state's culture, identity, and economy (the industry employing about 30,000 people and adding hundreds of millions of dollars to the state's tax base each year).

    Coal was first discovered in what is now West Virginia by John Peter Salley in 1742. It turned out that the state has more coal reserves than any other state in the country, and in fact has about four percent of the entire world's reserves. Within this small state, there are 117 named coal seams located in 53 of its 55 counties.

    Coal mining began in West Virginia in 1863. There are two types of coal mines, underground mines and surface mines (sometimes referred to as strip mines). Underground mining occurs when the coal is more than 100 feet (30 meters) below the surface, and surface mining occurs when the coal is within 100 feet (30 meters) of the surface. Underground mines produce about 87,000,000 tons (78,925,072,380 kilograms) of coal per year, the most in the nation, and surface mines produce about 60,000,000 tons (54,431,084,400 kilograms) on an annual basis. Contrary to what many people believe, most of the state has not been laid to waste by ugly strip mines, coal dust, and polluted streams. Strict environmental laws require that the land be rehabilitated after all the coal in a strip mine has been removed, and these rehabilitated lands provide grassland habitat for wildlife and plants.

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    On The Eve Of Our Revolution...

    by lmkluque Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    John Brown (1800-1859) is the main reason Harper's Ferry became a major part of U S American history.

    He was a radical abolitionist who violently went about doing more harm to his cause than good. One of his last acts, in a life long effort to abolish slavery, was to raid the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry.

    He and 18 followers captured the arsenal on October 16, 1859, but they failed to escape.

    He was taken prisoner and tried and hanged on December 2, 1859.

    During the Civil War between the North and the South, Harpers Ferry changed hands something like eight times!! Can you imagine how scary, confusing and frustrating that would be for the town's people?

    Surprisingly, this small town has a full and rich history from George Washington's visit when he was only seventeen to the advance of the Civil Rights Movement. This town offers us living history and it is beautiful as well.

    John Brown is only part of HF's history.
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    • Historical Travel
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    • Museum Visits

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    Pepperoni Roll

    by Florida999 Written Aug 2, 2009

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    Local specialty: the Pepperoni roll! I had heard about those, but was not quite sure what it was until we ordered one at the Radio Observatory cafeteria. It's basically....a hot dog bun, with pepperonie and cheese, put in the oven for a while.

    Pepperoni roll
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    districts

    by davecallahan Updated Nov 10, 2007

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    West Virginia is divided into several districts with major cities and towns as the focus of each district.

    Capitol District
    Kanawha County
    Charleston
    towns along Kanawha River

    Eastern Panhandle District
    Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan Counties
    Martinsburg
    towns along the Potomac River

    ELK District
    Braxton, Clay, Nicholas, Webster Counties
    Gassaway
    towns along the Elk River

    Greenbrier District
    Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas Counties
    Lewisburg
    towns along I-64 in that area

    Guyan District
    Boone, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, Wayne Counties
    Huntington
    towns along the Ohio River

    Little Kanawha District
    Calhoun, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, Wood Counties
    Parkersburg
    towns along the Ohio River

    Monongahela District
    Marion, Monongalia, Preston Counties
    Morgantown
    towns along the Monongahela River

    Northern Panhandle
    Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio Counties
    McMechen
    towns along the Ohio River

    Potomac District
    Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton Counties
    Romney
    towns along the Potomac River

    Southern District
    Fayette, McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, Summers, Wyoming Counties
    Beckley
    towns along I-64/77 in that area

    Tygarts District
    Barbour, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur Counties
    Philippi
    towns along route US119 and US250

    Upper Ohio District
    Pleasants, Tyler, Wetzel Counties
    Sistersville
    towns along the Ohio River

    West Fork District
    Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis Counties
    Clarksburg
    towns along I-79

    Western District
    Jackson, Mason, Putnam Counties
    Point Pleasant
    towns along the Ohio River

    map showing the districts
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    Mountain Music

    by mikelisaanna Updated Jun 9, 2007

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    One of our favorite things about West Virginia is its traditional mountain music, which is similar to Bluegrass. Typical instruments used in this type of music include guitars, fiddles (violins), banjoes, mandolins, dulcimers, and string basses. Unlike many forms of traditional music that are dying, there is still an active music culture in West Virginia, with songs and playing techniques being passed down from generation to generation. The best place to see this type of music showcased is at the annual Vandalia Gathering, a music festival held in late May in Charleston, the state's capital.

    Musicians at the Vandalia Gathering
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    • Music

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    state symbols

    by davecallahan Updated Apr 5, 2007

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    the state motto is "montani semper liberi" which is latin for "mountaineers are always free".

    the state flower is the rhododendron.

    the state bird is the northern cardinal.

    the state animal is the black bear.

    the state seal shows: a boulder with statehood date on it; two rifles and the cap of liberty (liberty must be fought for); figures representing agriculture and industry; the state motto is at the bottom

    the state flag is the state seal in a white field with a dark blue border

    rhododendron = state flower northern cardinal = state bird black bear = state animal state seal

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  • No West Virginia jokes, please!

    by MrPoop Written Oct 20, 2004

    There is nothing less funny to a native West Virginian than jokes about West Virginia! You will find that some natives will suffer a major sense of humor failure and will be deeply offended -- although they will probably have the good grace not to let on.

    So, please, no jokes about inbreeding, toothlessness, shoelessness, pick up trucks, major appliances left in front yard/on front porch...and so on!

    There probably isn't one person born in West Virginia who hasn't heard at least one West Virginia joke. They don't get any funnier --no matter how many times you have to hear them or who's doing the telling!

    To make matters worse, most of time the jokes are told by people who have never even been to West Virginia!

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    Ya'll have a nice day

    by iluvtrvl Written Jun 26, 2004

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    West Virginians are generally very warm, friendly people. If you are in the southern part of the state, you will hear the drawl in the voice. In the northern part of the state, the people are still friendly, but the drawl fades.

    Don't mistake the drawl for a lack of intelligence. And don't forget to ask the local cashier at the gas station or restaurant for directions or tips about what is special to see or do in the area. You will get lots of useful information, and friendly chat to boot.

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    John Brown (1800-1859) is the...

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

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    John Brown (1800-1859) is the main reason Harper's Ferry became a major part of U S American history. He was a radical abolitionist who violently went about doing more harm to his cause than good. One of his last acts in a life long effort to abolish slavery was to raid the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry. He and 18 followers captured the arsenal on October 16, 1859, but they failed to escape. He was taken prisoner and tried and hanged on December 2.

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    Dumb West Virginia LawsNo...

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Dumb West Virginia Laws
    No children may attend school with their breath smelling of 'wild onions.'
    When a railroad passes within 1 mile of a community of 100 or more people in it, they must build a station and stop there regularly to pick up and drop off passengers.
    It is illegal to snooze on a train.
    Doctors and dentists may not place a woman under anesthesia unless a third person is present.
    According to the state constitution, it is unlawful for anyone to own a red or a black flag.
    If you wear a hat inside a theater, you may be fined.
    Roadkill may be taken home for supper.
    Whistling underwater is prohibited.
    Alderson
    One may not walk a lion, tiger or leopard, even on a leash.
    Nicholas County
    No member of the clergy is allowed to tell jokes or humorous stories from the pulpit during a church service.
    Huntington
    Firemen may not whistle or flirt at any woman passing a firehouse.
    It is legal to beat your wife so long as it is done in public on Sunday, on the courthouse steps.

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  • Those people raised in West...

    by wvdeedee Written Aug 24, 2002

    Those people raised in West Virginia are not all red necks or uneducated. They are not all exposed to city ways. They work hard. They like friendly visitors and expect to be treated with like kind. They may live simple lives but they can figure out what you want real quick.

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