A Short History Charleston

The West Virginian capital of Charleston is named in honor of Charles Clendenin, father of the Col. George Clendenin, who acquired the land in 1782. Prior to that Thomas Bullitt owned the one thousand two hundred and fifty acres which lay near the Elk River mouth. He had deeded it in 1773 but when Thomas died, his brother Cuthbert got it and sold it to George Clendenin for an undisclosed amount.

He then built Fort Lee in 1787 which became the first recognized settlement. That structure used to be where the modern intersection of Kanawha and Brooks Street lies. It was called Charles Town, to begin with, but it got shortened so as to not mistake it for a nearby town to the east. The new spelling incorporated the Charles and made it Charleston.

Salt of the Earth

Salt has played a massive part in the history and growth of Charleston. The Kanawha River was discovered to be a source of salt brines during the nineteenth century. In 1806 the first salt well graced the banks. By 1808 over a ton of salt was produced on a daily basis in an area just next to Charleston. Due to an accidental drilling error, Captain James Wilson stumbled upon a natural gas well, in 1815. Two years later the discovery of coal made the area even more potentially prosperous and the three commodities together more or less sealed the future of what was to become the Capital of West Virginia.

The State of things to Come

It was by ‘Presidential proclamation’ that West Virginia actually came into being. When Abraham Lincoln announced that the north west section of Virginia State be returned to the union, West Virginia became a state in its own right, quickly abolishing slavery. Nowadays there are businesses galore in Charleston run by many of its residents, from auto shops, to fast food restaurants and grocery stores in Charleston to flower delivery in Charleston WV and you can pretty much find any other service you might feel you need, no matter where you are in the city. West Virginia is shrouded in mystery and history that really needs a long visit to make the most of the experience. Make the journey one day and learn what you can about the area.

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