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West Virginia Local Business Directory

Originally part of the state of Virginia, West Virginia chose to support the Union during the Civil War and separated from Virginia in 1863. West Virginia is the only new state that was created through secession from a Confederate state; it was admitted into the Union in the same year by special proclamation of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Although West Virginian soldiers were employed by both the Confederacy and the Union during the Civil War, the newly formed state suffered relatively few losses and minimal property damage in most areas.

Coal mining became an important part of the economy of West Virginia during the last part of the 19th century. The opening of the Pocahontas Coal Fields provided employment for many West Virginians; however, these jobs came at a high cost. Appalachian coal miners were at high risk of death from mining accidents as well as a variety of respiratory ailments that included black lung disease. While modern safety measures have reduced the incidence of accidents, the mining industry continues to be a high-risk field of employment.

Tourism is a growing source of income for West Virginia. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park celebrates the abolitionist past of West Virginia, while numerous Civil War sites and nature parks can be found throughout this southern state.

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