(WTRF) — West Virginia is well-known for its mountains, coal and pepperoni rolls, but there are many other little-known facts about the Mountain State.
These facts are courtesy of West Virginia Tourism.
- West Virginia got its nickname as the Mountain State because it is the only state completely within the Appalachian Mountain range.
- The Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company, located in Wheeling, started painting bridges and barns with “Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch” to advertise their product, thus becoming the first to utilize outdoor advertisement.
- If you live in West Virginia, you don’t have to leave the state if you want to visit Athens, Berlin, Cairo, Calcutta, Geneva and Shanghai. The state holds the record for having the most towns named after cities in other countries.
- The first land battle of the Civil War, The Battle of Philippe, took place in Philippi in 1861.
- The New River is not only one of the oldest rivers in the world, but it flows from south to north because it was formed in the mountains.
- The highest truss bridge in the world is in Beckley. The Phil G. McDonald Bridge is over 700 feet tall, but is often overshadowed by the New River Gorge Bridge.
- The largest alluvial diamond in North America was found in Peterstown by William “Punch” Jones and his father Grover. It is also known as the Punch Jones Diamond.
- Rural free delivery mail service got its start in 1896 in Charles Town. The pilot program took off to determine whether or not rural mail delivery was possible for the rest of the country.
- The largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and second in the world is in Weston. The Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is also a National Historic Landmark.
- The world’s first brick street, Summers Street, was laid in Charleston in 1870.