West Virginia

Wikimedia commons / W. Bailey, HABS photographer

On November 19, 1909, the Lincoln County Courthouse in Hamlin burned to the ground. While devastating fires were fairly commonplace in the early 20th century, it has been widely speculated that the Lincoln County Courthouse was an act of arson.

Lincoln—one of five counties formed after West Virginia became a state—was always agricultural in nature. In particular, it was one of the state’s most productive farming regions for tobacco.

Jessica Lilly

In this week’s Inside Appalachia, we take a look at first generation college students.  We’ll hear about challenges that first generation college students are going through, and how some colleges and universities are trying to help these students stay in school.

Downtown Shepherdstown
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / David Fattaleh/WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)

On November 12, 1762, Thomas Shepherd presented articles of incorporation for the town of Mechlenburg to the Virginia General Assembly. Along with Romney, Mechlenburg, which was later renamed Shepherdstown, would become one of present West Virginia’s first two incorporated towns.

Shepherd established a grist mill there along the Potomac River as early as 1739, but it’s believed that German immigrants might have settled at Shepherdstown more than 20 years before. Located along Pack Horse Ford—an ancient Potomac crossing—Shepherdstown is among West Virginia’s most historic places.

Derek Cline/ Inside Appalachia

So how do you say Appalachia? This week, our episode is about the many different accents, and pronunciations, of Appalachia. Many of those interviewed for the show said they have very strong feelings about pronunciation.

Inside Appalachia’s host Jessica Lilly found six known pronunciations of the word Appalachia. Yes, that's right, six different ways to say it:

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / William P. Gottlieb

  On October 29, 1956, the legendary R&B bandleader Louis Jordan recorded his third and final version of one of the most unusual songs about West Virginia. In “Salt Pork, West Virginia,” Jordan calls out a series of large cities as a railroad conductor would do. After reciting the names of cities like Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Houston, Jordan concludes with, ‘‘I think I’ll go on home now; Bluefield, my Salt Pork, West Virginia.’’

Mountain Stage/ Pat Sergent

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why Davis and Elkins College offers a unique type of scholarship for students who play traditional folk music. And we’ll hear about a new tourism music trail in West Virginia called The Mountain Music Trail.

Appalachian Trail
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Kathleen Mallow-Sager

  

On October 7, 1923, the first miles of the Appalachian Trail were opened in New York state. Within 14 years, the trail would stretch some 2,200 miles—from Maine to Georgia.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Since 1986, legislators from the Eastern Panhandle have been meeting with their fellow lawmakers from what they call the quad-state region - Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania - to discuss issues as well as accomplishments they share along the interstate 81 corridor. This year, the group focused on drug trafficking and what the four states can do to combat the problem.

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

A review of West Virginia's pension system has found that 165 recipients are paid more than $80,000 in annual benefits.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

Have you ever heard of a pepperoni roll? If you haven’t, then you’re not from West Virginia.

It can be pretty tough to be a young person in Appalachia. There’s a lot of love for our region in the younger generation, too. So some younger people are making their own opportunities. Hear from people in their teens and 20s who are creating art and music here and listen to their ideas and dreams for Appalachia.

Farm Security Administration

The Tygart Valley Homestead Community in Randolph County is celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend. The Roosevelt Administration built the town of Dailey during the Great Depression to give out-of-work West Virginians a second chance. But the community is now struggling to hold on to that history and to their school building.

Derek Cline/ Inside Appalachia

Despite stereotypes, Appalachians don’t have a homogenous way of speaking. This week, we’re excited to share lots of Appalachian voices as we explore the complex aspects of the way we talk.

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking a road trip through the region to find people who are reviving the old recipes and bringing something fresh to our plates. This episode is also helping us kick off a new segment, called Appetite Appalachia, which features restaurants and recipes with Appalachian roots.

In this episode, we’re revisiting a show from the Inside Appalachia archives. Remember those Love Letters that the town of Thomas wrote for another small town back in February? Well, they were delivered. We’ll find out which town received those letters in this episode. We’ll also hear a love letter written to a famous racehorse named Zenyatta, a story about bald eagle mates who remained together till death, and other stories about our complicated love of Appalachia. 

Wendell Smith/Flickr

Here in Appalachia, it’s ramp season, and that means many small towns have their annual ramp feed to help raise money for their communities. This week we’ll travel to the Feast of the Ramson in Richwood, West Virginia, where we’ll meet 12-year-old ramp digger, Tyler McCune. And we’ll head to the Shenandoah Valley to hear a crowd of shape note singers. Although more and more people are leaving Appalachia, we will also hearing from some, like musician John Wyatt, who have returned home.

Roxy Todd

In colder regions of Appalachia, the third week in March is maple syrup season. That’s right, maple syrup isn’t just for New England farmers. This weekend marks the 31st annual maple syrup festival in Pickens, West Virginia.

Craig Kief

Singer-songwriter Sam Beam has been releasing indie folk records under the name Iron & Wine for over a decade. With his newest release, Archive Series Volume No. 1, Beam's going back to basics with bedroom folk melodies and down-home whispers. We talk about his music, his new short film, "Dreamers and Makers are My Favorite People" (which features footage from his 2014 stop at the Jerry Run Summer Theater in West Virginia) and, of course, his infamous beard. 

Abortion Bill Approved

Feb 12, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick brings us the story on how the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act was ultimately passed, and Ashton Marra brings us up to date on a potential breakthrough for businesses like Uber to operate in WV.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Mississippi and West Virginia are known for their struggles with health crises. Yet when it comes to getting children vaccinated, these states don't mess around.

A recent measles outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people has brought attention to policies in 48 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their children because of their religious or personal beliefs, or both.

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