Leaving Charleston

Hank – Before leaving town we checked out the capitol building and the WV State Museum. The capitol has a gold leaf covered done. Unfortunately, it’s all covered up while it’s under renovation.

The museum helped me learn more about the state. It was interesting that anti-slavery sentiment was present but the primary reason for splitting away from Virginia were more economic issues and holding a grudge for being ignored for so many years by the eastern majority.

Kathy – The State Capital Building in Charleston, West Virginia was nice but due to renovations we were unable to see most of it. The entire dome was covered in construction materials on the outside and inside of the building. Apparently the dome is covered in 18-karat gold leaf and it is pretty spectacular. Too bad we didn’t get to see it. I guess we will have to come back here at some point. 😄 The inside of the Capital Building we saw the House and Senate chambers, both had stunning architecture.

We spent quite a bit of time in the West Virginia State Museum. I enjoyed the information and displays depicting the states history from the early years up into current times. It is incredible just how many battles were fought in this state, how state boundary lines changed many times, and how the Capital Building even changed locations five different times.

The State Museum has a large display of beautiful quilts which I thoroughly enjoyed. The section on coal mining was very interesting. The discussed the landscapes and how coal mining became a way of life for many West Virginians. They also had information about how coal miners fought for safe working conditions and higher wages. Lastly the hard fought legal battles with the coal companies to acknowledge that the miners dying from black lung disease was directly related to working in poorly ventilated coal mines (which they knew) and therefore the coal miners and family members should be compensated. Excellent information here.

The museum had a display of dolls depicting each of the West Virginia’s governors wives. I must say it was kinda odd and creepy looking. There was also a large display of “Miss West Virginia” pageant information and boring stuff. The displays of gowns, swimsuits, and shoes worn were a bit over the top. I prefer women to be commended on their academic achievements, social justice and/or community involvement well over who they marry or how they look in a fancy gown or swimsuit. It’s pretty obvious I’m not a big fan of governors wives dolls or pageantry.

So overall, the states historical information and the coal mining industries information was by far the best part of the museum. We learned a lot, happy we went. 😊

The rest of our day was spent driving as we head towards Portland, Oregon to see family and friends before getting back on the bikes. …🚗 …🚴‍♀️…🚴‍♂️…

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