WEST VIRGINIA, prior to its separation from the mother State, known as the Trans Allegheny Region of Virginia, was admitted to the Union 20 June 1863 as the 35th State. In area it is the 40th among the States, covering 24,170 square miles of which 148 square miles is water surface. It lies between 3P 6' and 40' 38' N. latitude and between 0* 40' and 5° 35' longitude West from Washington. With a very irregular boundary of 1,170 miles, West Virginia is encircled by Pennsyl vania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. On the northeast, it finds a natural boundary in the south bank of the Potomac. The cen tre of the Big Sandy serves a like purpose on the southwest. On the west the Ohio forms a navigable boundary for 256 miles — the juris diction of the State extending to mark on its western bank. From northeast to southwest the separation from old Virginia, in an irregular and ill-defined line, follows the crest of meandering mountain ridges. The narrow strip in the north between Ohio and Pennsylvania is called 'the northern pan handle.* A similar extension in the northeast corner is similarly styled • the eastern pan handles; hence •the Panhandle State.' The main part of the State is, in form. a rough oval from northeast to southwest, about 250 miles in length, with an average breadth of 190 miles. Capital, Charleston. in Kanawha County Topography,— West Virginia is of rolling. uneven surface and in the east, thstitxtly mountainous. From the Ohio river in the west to the crest of the Allegheny Mountains on the east, the surface rises with steadily increasing altitude, though irregular surface. This gives rise to three of the four definite physioarrapbie regions of which West Virginia is composed namely, the Ohio Valley region, the Cumber land Plateau region and the Allegheny High land region. Crossing the Alleghenies— in the northeastern section of the State we find the land sloping to the eastward as the Poto mac Valley region. The Ohio Valley region extends from the northernmost point of the State southwestward along its western border to the mouth of the Big Sandy. With but a few exceptional points, the general level of this region runs from 500 feet at the mouth of the Big Sandy, to 1,000 feet at Dingess in Mingo Count) and at Grafton in Taylor County. The
total area of this fertile, well-cultivated agri cultural se ;I 1 • r 5,327.
610 acres. In it lie the largest of the State; Huntington, at an elevation S38 feet, Charleston, 603 feet, Parkersburg, 24 feet, Wheeling, 647 feet, Morgantown, 8._ rein and Fairmont, g42 feet. all elevations railroad level. This region embraces about one-third of the area and of the population of the The Cumberla, a generalelevation from 1,0 parallels the Ohio Valley region, stretching southwestward from the Pennsylvania line to the upper waters of the Big Sandy and the Tug. It crosses the State as a broad belt from 40 to 60 miles in width, rising in swift elevation to meet and merge into the Allegheny Highlands. The nvers of this section, with a fall varying from 12 feet to 25 feet per mile, rush with corre sponding velocity and furnish admirable water power. The area of this section is 6,700 square miles or 4,290,000 acres. Within it are found many of the smaller cities and prosperous towns of the State,— Clarksburg at an elevation of LOOK feet; Weston, 1,017 feet; Buckhannon, 1.401 feet; ‘Velch. 1,297 feet ; Hinton, 1,378 feet, and Elkins, 1,920 feet. This section nurtures and maintains about one-fourth of the State's population.
The Allegheny Highlands takes its name from the predominating mountain range. The general topography is marked by the long, regular, symmetrically-paralleled folds of the Allegheny mountain system. Mountain rolls beyond mountain till the lofty Allegheny crest rises as a barrier wall between the two Vir ginias Various parallel and outlying exten sions sene to broaden this mountain section which covers, at an altitude ranging from 2.000 to 4.000 feet, nine counties of the State and reaches partly across seven more. The highest peak in the State is Spruce Knob, in Pendleton County, 4,860 feet. Other points of high elevation in this section are High Knob, 4,710 feet and Sharp Knob. 4,545 feet, with more than 20 other peaks exceeding 4,000 feet. Ricbwood, Nicholas County, 2,189 feet; Coal dale. McDowell County, 2,336 feet; Terra Alta, Preston County, 2,549 feet; Horton, Randolph County, 2,729 feet; Fairfax. Grant County, 3,060 feet, are thriving coal and lumber towns of high altitude.