Honoring West Virginia’s History Through Exploration

Date Written by Jason Keeling on June 20, 2012

West Virginia has an intriguing history, and on today’s 149th anniversary of statehood, learning more about the Mountain State’s past might be one of the best ways to honor it, particularly as next year’s sesquicentennial milestone approaches.

Doing so helps us gain insight into how our ancestors lived, the struggles they faced, their positive experiences, and how these factors have shaped modern West Virginia.

Both natives and “outsiders” can appreciate perspective that goes beyond stereotypes and instead humanizes. Consider the tremendous success and positive reception of History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoys miniseries.

In coming months, this blog will explore works on West Virginia history. Please comment with your recommendations and thoughts regarding notable books, essays, films, songs, and paintings that should be highlighted.

2 Responses to “Honoring West Virginia’s History Through Exploration”

  1. Becky Calwell said:

    e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the Mountain State.

  2. Dave Tabler said:

    The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, edited by Jim Comstock, 1976, is a 51 volume set that’s out of print but well worth tracking down. Comstock’s 1996 NY Times obit said: “Besides devoting 20 years to the West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, Mr. Comstock collected and republished out-of-print books by and about West Virginians, and he led a campaign to preserve the house in Hillsboro, W.Va., where Pearl S. Buck, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, was born.”

    Found 2 sets on Amazon for about $500 apiece — http://amzn.to/MhtRva

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