Make your own free website on
Home | Important Events | Famous West Virginians | Facts | Related Links | Contact Us
West Virginia History
Important Events

A West Virginia Timeline

15,000 B.C. - First inhabitants, hunters, came across the
Bering Strait and their descendants gradually spread down into North and South America.

1000 B.C. 1.A.D. - Adena Moundbuilders

Grave Creek Mound built 250 - 150 B.C.

1 A.D. - 700 A.D. Hopewell Moundbuilders

700 A.D.  - 1300 A.D. other Moundbuilders

1500 A.D. West Virginia used as hunting ground by Cherokee, Shawnee, Delaware, Tuscarora, Iroquois, Mingo and Seneca

1607 Jamestowne established in Virginia Colony for Great Britain

1671 Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam cross the Allegheny Mountains into western Virginia and claim the New River Valley for Great Britain

1671-John Lederer

1670s French trappers and traders claim Ohio Valley

1716-Governor Alexander Spotswood crosses Blue Ridge with Golden Horseshoe party

George Washington surveys large tracts in western Virginia

Morgan Morgan-built first cabin near present Martinsburg

1730-First Settlement at Shepherdstown (German settlers)

1742 John Salling led a group through present day West Virginia to New Orleans

1743- First road was built to Martinsburg

1747-1750 Christopher Gist, surveyor for the Ohio Land Company, reaches mouth of the Great Kanawha River . He explored and drew maps of western Virginia

1753 Mary Draper Ingles and Betty Draper captured by Shawnee, become first white women in the Kanawha Valley and first whites to make salt there.

1754 French and Indian War Britain and France fight over claims to Ohio Valley. French encouraged Indians to attack British settlers.
1763 Britain wins and gains control of most land between the Atlantic Ocean and Mississippi River.

1768 Britain signs treaties with Cherokee and Iroquois nations, allowing settlement of western Virginia

1774 Walter Kelly and family settled at mouth of Kellys Creek, first settlement in the Kanawha Valley. All were killed by Indians.

April, 1774 Daniel Greathouse party attacks and kills family of Mingo chief ,Logan

1774 Lord Dunmores War against the Indians over land being settled by English which was not given up by the Indians.

1774 Lewis Trail is first road in Kanawha Valley, made by General Lewis troops marching to Pt. Pleasant.

Oct. 10, 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant defeat of Cornstalk and end of Dunmores War, but Congress has also officially recognized it as first land battle of the American Revolution.
Fort Randolph built at what is now Pt. Pleasant.

1775-1783 American Revolution. More settlers come into western Virginia, mainly as farmers.

Battle of Fort Henry (Wheeling) last battle of the American Revolution

December 1787 James Rumsey of Shepherdstown launches first steamboat

1789 George Washington becomes President

1791 Daniel Boone, living across from mouth of now Campbells Creek, served as Kanawha delegate to the Virginia legislature

1794 Clendenins Fort (now Charleston) built

By 1815, Kanawha Valley salt furnaces were manufacturing about 3,000 bushels of salt every day; attracting many to the area for salt-mining, coal-mining (to fuel the salt furnaces), barrel-making, and black-smithing. Miners digging for salt discovered oil, but threw it into the river since they knew little use for it, causing the Kanawha River to become known for a time as Old Greasy because it was so full of oil.

1853 B&O Railroad completed from Harpers Ferry to Wheeling

Oct 16, 1859- Abolitionist John Browns raid on arsenal at Harpers Ferry.
June 20, 1863 - West Virginia becomes the 35th state