Charleston, West Virginia

Located on the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in West Virginia is the capital city of Charleston. The city has enjoyed a position of power since it has been the backbone of economic and cultural growth of the surrounding regions. With its pleasant weather conditions and scenic beauty, Charleston manages to draw in a fair number of settlers and visitors too.

Offering a great balance of education, commerce and aviation, the city is also known for its many parks. Due to its age old history, Charleston is able to offer some spectacular ancient architectural wonders along with some very well constructed modern buildings. Annual events and cultural fairs form a large part of the city's attractions and bring in both participants and viewers from all over the country.

The city also offers something for the sports lover with baseball and soccer holding the fort here. Shopping is another delightful activity that one can enjoy in Charleston for the city has some great malls and shopping streets just dying to be explored. Having being mentioned in several movies and pieces of literature, the city enjoys a prominent place in the state and offers some delightful experiences to its visitors.

Welcome to the city of Charleston, where you will be able to make just about anything happen. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Charleston History

It was in 1773 that Thomas Bullitt was deeded 1,250 acres of land near the mouth of the Elk River. This land was later sold by his brother to Col. George Clendenin in 1786, is the said to be the first settler in the Charleston region. Col. George Clendenin constructed Fort Lee here and also began operating a company by the name of Virginia Rangers. It was six years after this that the company officially established Charleston, which was at that time was a patch of 40 acres and had 35 people living in about seven houses. The city is said to be named after the father of Col. George Clendenin who was called Charles.

It is believed that in the 19th century that salt brines were found in the city. 1806 was when the first salt well was drilled in Charleston which soon grew to becoming a major salt provider to the entire region. Within a short span of two years almost 1250 pounds of salt was being produced every day by the city. Kanawha Salt Company which was the first trust in United States began in 1818 and went on to become a huge player in the salt industry. The salt industry faced a dip in 1881, but it was give a boost during the First World War when salt brine was needed to make chlorine and sodium hydroxide.

While coal was discovered in 1817 in the area, it was in 1815 that Captain James Wilson struck a gas well accidently while looking for salt. Both gas and coal added to the attraction of the city and more and more settlers began to filter into the area. Railroad expansion added to the growth of this region and newer industries like chemical, glass, steel and even timber starting mushrooming here.

After the Second World War, the magnificent Kanawha Airport which is now Yeager Airport was built in 1947 here. In 1956 the Charleston Civic Center opened up and in 1983 the city inaugurated the Charleston Town Center, which is even today a busy junction in Charleston. From then on there was no stopping this grand city which had the advantage of both location and infrastructure as well as government aid.

About Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston is the county seat of Kanawha county. The city is also the largest in all of West Virginia and plays capital to this state too. Known for its lush green parks the city is the center of power and commerce in the state of West Virginia. Almost all prominent state buildings are located here and most of the government offices also have the head offices in Charleston.

The 2010 census reported a population of 51,400 of which 80.63% were White and 15.07% were African Americans. There was only 0.24% Native Americans and the Asians were 1.83%. The median income for a household in Charleston was $34,009 and this clearly goes to show the economic bliss that the city enjoys. The Mayor-council form of government that the city operates under ensures that Charleston boasts of a good law and order condition and is able to maintain its position as a capital city.

While the city was known for coal, natural gas and salt productions, today the economy rests on trade, medicine, utilities and education. One finds a number of very prestigious colleges in the area. A branch campus of the West Virginia University is located in the city which also houses the University of Charleston and the Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College. Companies like United Bank of West Virginia, Inc, Walker Machinery, West Virginia-American Water Company and the Frontier Communication also have their headquarters in the city.

The West Virginia State Capitol building is a marvelous piece of architecture that the city offers. One can also find Kanawha County courthouse, Security building and also the Kanawha Valley building in the city. The Elk river and Kanawha River can also be enjoyed in the city along with the several bridges that help cross over these water bodies.

Charleston offers a good number of fairs and festivals for its residents and visitors. Symphony Sunday is a tradition that began in the city way back in 1982 and continues to date. The West Virginia International Film festival is hosted in the city twice a year and brings people from all round the globe to Charleston. The Daily Mail Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival, is also hosted by the city.

Charleston contains many major attractions that include the South Carolina Aquarium, a popular place for the entire family, the Fort Sumter National Monument, the site of the Civil War the City Public Market, a great place for shopping and many other places.

About Kanawha County, West Virginia

Located in the state of West Virginia, the Kanawha County takes it name from a native term which when translated means 'place of white stone'. The county is known for its natural benefits and is the most populous county of the state. The seat of the county is Charleston, which is also the state capital of West Virginia.

The county occupies an area of total area of 911 square miles and according to the 2010 census, the population of the county was 193,063. Of this population 90.46% were Whites while there were only 6.97% African American. The Native Americans in the region were 0.21% and the Asians were 0.85%. The median income of a household here was recorded as $33,766 by the same census.

The Kanawha County textbook controversy that lead to school remaining shut for most of 1975 was a significant incident in the history of the county. One of the school board members rejected the 325 books that were sent by the English Language Arts Textbook Committee of Kanawha County as the material in them was found to be morally offensive. This lead to a huge controversy and in fact was reported so well by Journalist John D. Maurice that it won him a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials on the subject.

Apart from the county seat of Charleston, Kanawha also houses several other cities like Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, part of Nitro and Smithers and also South Charleston and St. Albans. The major towns of the county are Belle, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Handley and Pratt. The county also houses several census designated places like Pinch, Upper falls, Coal fork, Cross Lanes, etc. There are many unincorporated communities in the county and Diamond, Aarons, Rand, Hitop and Holly are a few that deserve special mention.

The county has several historically significant places to show for. The African Zion Baptist Church is one very important building in the county. There are others like Bird Haven, Cedar Grove, Canty House, Chilton House, Dalgain, East Hall and of course Kanawha County Courthouse too.