Charleston, West Virginia, skyline at twilight.

Charleston, Capital Of West Virginia

Charleston is a big city situated at the meeting point of Elk and Kanawha Rivers in Kanawha County, in the western part of the US State of West Virginia. Charleston also serves as the capital of West Virginia, as well as its most populous city. Charleston is approximately 507 km from Richmond, Virginia; 367 km from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; 398 km from Louisville, Kentucky; and 425 km from Charlotte, North Carolina

Geography And Climate Of Charleston

Charleston, West Virginia, downtown skyline on the river at dusk
Charleston, West Virginia, downtown skyline on the river at dusk. 

Charleston is located within the Western Allegheny Plateau's ecoregion. Charleston covers a total area of 84.54 sq. km, of which 81.59 sq. km is occupied by land, and 2.95 sq. km is covered by water. Charleston experiences a humid subtropical climate, with cold winters and warmer summers due to the city's elevation relative to the rest of West Virginia. Charleston receives an average of 89 mm of precipitation each month. 

History Of Charleston

The State Capitol of West Virginia in Charleston, West Virginia
The State Capitol of West Virginia in Charleston, West Virginia. 

Shortly after the American Revolution, the Virginia General Assembly dedicated land for approximately 35 residents. The land was purchased from Col. Clendenin, who named the land after his father, Charles. During the beginning of the 19th century, the town became known for its salt brine mills and later coal and gas. The world's first corporate trust in the Kanawha Salt Company was formed in nearby Malden in 1818. Coal and gas later overtook salt as the main economic output of the area shortly after the American Civil War. Charleston was embroiled in a civil war battle in 1861, in which the Union ultimately took control of the city. 

Virginia was extremely divided over the issues of slavery and secession; what is now West Virginia tended to be more unionist, and with the aid of the United States government, modern West Virginia was formed after seceding from Virginia. Charleston was eventually chosen as the capital of West Virginia alongside Wheeling. However, the people eventually voted for Charleston to be the sole capital in 1877. The state capitol suffered two fires in 1921 and 1927 and was rebuilt in 1932 with a distinct Italian Renaissance style. Despite the Great Depression, Charleston experienced growth in the 20th century. During WWII, the city being home to the first and largest styrene plant in the United States, proved useful since rubber was mostly reserved for the army during the war. Charleston was incorporated into the interstate system in the 1960s. The Charleston Town Center was built in 1983 and was the largest mall east of the Mississippi River. The city grew further in the 1990s and is now known for its healthcare services and the home of the Mountain Stage radio show.

The Population Of Charleston

Charleston has a population of 48,864 inhabitants, as per the latest US Census. Approximately 80% of Charleston residents are White, and 11% are Black. There is a 2% Asian population and a 5% mixed-race population. Only 37% of Charleston residents consider themselves religious. Roughly 9% of the city's religious population are Baptist, 5% are Methodist, and 4% adhere to Catholicism. Christians of various denominations inhabit Charleston. The only non-Christian religious adherents recorded are the 0.2% Jewish population.

Attractions In Charleston

History enthusiasts can visit the West Virginia State Museum, the Cultural Center, or the East End Historic District. The latter of these preserves the architecture of the early years of Charleston's official existence. The Clay Center is a great place for anyone with interest in science. Nature lovers can bask in the serenity of Kanawha State Forest. All kinds of events and performances can be seen at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center, and you can also grab a drink at the Mountain State Distillery. One can also do quite a bit of shopping at the Town Center Mall or the Capitol Market. One can also take in sports matches at the University of Charleston, where their Golden Eagles field both football and basketball teams. The football team plays at the 18,000-seat University of Charleston Stadium, while the basketball teams play at the Wehrle Arena.

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