West Virginia has a long and rich history. Our National Historic Landmarks are reminders of our diverse past. These 11 historical landmarks should be on everyone’s “must see” list.
1. Campbell Mansion, Bethany
The beautiful Campbell Mansion was once the home of Minister Alexander Campbell and his family. The mansion was built in 1793. Campbell was a leader in the community and played a large role in the Restoration Movement in the United States Christianity. In 1840 Campbell founded Bethany College. The mansion and nearby cemetery were registered as National Historic Landmarks back in 1994.
2. B&O Railroad Roundhouse, Martinsburg
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops are a historic industrial district. The Roundhouse is the centerpiece of this district. The original roundhouse was burned to the ground by confederate troops under Colonel Jackson in 1862. The Roundhouse was rebuilt in 1866.
3. Stewart's Tavern & Inn, Ridgeley
Stewart’s Tavern and Inn was built toward the end of the 18th century. In 1988 the buildings were purchased by the Frankfort District Historical Society. In 1989, the society had the two-story tavern moved 60 feet from its original spot.
4. Carnifex Ferry State Park, Summersville
The Carnifex Ferry State Park is the site of American Civil War Battles. The Park includes the Patterson House Museum. It is one of the oldest state parks in the United States. Each year on Labor Day the parks holds Civil War reenactments.
5. Pearl S. Buck House, Hillsboro,
This is the house where legendary American writer Pearl S. Buck was born. Today the home is a museum. The beautiful home was built in 1875 by a Dutch family that fled their country because they feared religious persecution. Buck was born in the home in 1892. She was the first American writer to win a Nobel Prize for Literature and a Pulitzer Prize.
6. Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Wheeling
The Wheeling suspension Bridge spans the Ohio River. From 1841-1859 it was the largest suspension bridge in the entire world. The bridge was designed by Charles Ellett Jr. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1975.
7. West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling
The West Virginia Independence Hall was built in 1860. During the Civil War it was home to the Wheeling Convention. The building was originally built to be a house for the western district of Virginia, but instead it became the center of government for the restored government of Virginia.
8. The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs
Built in 1858, the Greenbrier resort is the most majestic and luxurious place in West Virginia. The resort was originally owned the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. Today it is owned and operated by entrepreneur Jim Justice. The Greenbrier has an underground bunker that was built to house the U.S. Congress during the Cold War.
9. Matewan Historic District, Matewan
This district was the site of the Battle of Matewan that took place in 1920, during a coal mining strike. The Battle of Matewan led to the bloody Battle of Blair Mountain, which is still the largest insurrection associated with the labor movement in the U.S.
10. Davis & Elkins Historic District
This Historic District is located on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. It offers two mansions that are on the National Register of Historic places. The Senator Stephen Benton Elkins house and Graceland offer visitors a beautiful glance of the past.
11. Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, Grafton
This beautiful church located in Grafton is where Mother’s Day was incorporated. In 1962 an International Mother’s Day Shrine was placed in front of the church to honor all mothers.
All of these historic landmarks play big roles in West Virginia’s history and are well worth the trip to check them out.