West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.


West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.


West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.


West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.


West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.


Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.


Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 "The Legacy of Mary Ingles" Living History Event at Beech Fork State Park Sept. 24-26


BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. – Now in its 22nd year, The Mary Ingles Trail Associates (MITA) will present its 18th century living history weekend, “The Legacy of Mary Ingles,” at Beech Fork State Park on Sept. 24-26. The weekend will include an encampment and frontier-life demonstrations, all open and free to the public.

Embroiled in the turmoil of the French & Indian War, Mary was captured by the Shawnee Indians in July of 1755 and, after several months, she escaped and made her way back home by walking more than 500 miles, including through the Kanawha Valley.

“This is an opportunity for the park to introduce visitors and guests to the ways of our pioneering ancestors as well as for MITA to have a setting for the portrayal and demonstration of life in 1755 that Mary Ingles lived and encountered,” said Park Supt. Matt Yeager.

“It’s been 255 years since Ingles made her trek through the Kanawha Valley and New River area, and her remarkable story is woven throughout the demonstrations and in conversation, “said MITA President Scott Fairchild.

“The Legacy of Mary Ingles” encampment is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for three days, Sept. 24, 25 and 26, at Beech Fork State Park. Parking is free. Individuals or groups should park at the administration building. Signs will be posted to direct attendees to the encampments and demonstrations. The site is accessible by wheelchair with the understanding some level grassy areas are off of the paved path.

Home schooled field trips are welcome and encouraged to attend on Friday, Sept. 24. Groups should contact Sarah Dyson at 606-694-5336 or lizziebeth8604@yahoo.com to determine arrival times and parking considerations, or e-mail beechfork@wvdnr.gov with any questions or attendance notification. This event is on the recreation side of Beech Fork Lake and not on the Army Corps of Engineers side at Lavelette.

Beech Fork State Park is located near Barboursville. It features 275-campsites, hiking trails, picnicking, fishing and an Olympic-sized swimming pool during the summer season. Beech Fork also has vacation rental cabins that are open year-round, accessible, and offers various packages and stay rates. For information about Beech Fork State Park activities, maps, and facilities, call 304-528-5794 or visit www.beechforksp.com.

Living History – An Interactive Reflection of the Time

The presentations are not lecture-style, according to MITA President Scott Fairchild. “The three-day encampment, will have more than 20 interpreters and tradesmen and women staged in primitive encampment settings. The interpreters engage those attending throughout the course of the day in conversation and with ongoing action and work life. Reading about history helps us to understand our past, becoming involved in any part of a pioneering life-skill or a way of life, makes history real. It is history alive.”

Some of the life skills and demonstrations planned over the course of the three-day event include: the importance of trade, animal care, spinning and weaving, music, salt making, medicinal and edible native plants as early healthcare, finger weaving, blacksmithing, candle making, lye soap making, hunting skills, tomahawk throwing, plant dyes, toys and games, wood working, hide tanning, Indian pictographs, women’s and men’s roles, and frontier cooking and foods.

“The presentations are limited only by the public’s interest in a particular topic,” said Fairchild. “We hope people come and join us for the entire day and depart with a greater understanding of pioneering and frontier life. The more questions people ask, the greater the demonstrations and interaction becomes.

Robert Weiford will have a special presentation at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, and again 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26. Portraying Dr. John P. Hale, Weiford will recall history from the viewpoint as the great-grandson of Mary Ingles. Dr. Hale was an early Kanawha Valley resident and entrepreneur. Weiford, part of community theater circles for many years, has been involved with this legacy weekend every year since its inception.

“The harsh reality of the (West) Virginia frontier and an even greater understanding of the remarkable journey of this woman in America’s history makes the weekend at Beech Fork State Park a true learning experience,” said Supt. Matt Yeager. “It’s wonderful to look at our past and come away with a broader appreciation of our present way of life. I’m all for children, families and friends getting outdoors. To learn something about our history when you're visiting a park and outdoors, makes it all the better.”

Contact Information

Matt Yeager, Superintendent, Beech Fork State Park or Scott Fairchild, President, Mary Ingles Trail Associates
304-528-5794 or 304-382-1399