West Virginia Department of Commerce Mountain Lakes

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Mountain Lakes

Braxton County
Formed in 1836 from parts of Lewis, Kanawha and Nicholas Counties and named for Carter Braxton, Virginia statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Salt works were located at Bulltown and in 1772, Captain Bull and his friendly Delaware Indian followers were massacred by frontiersmen.

The leading agricultural and industrial products are hay, grain, poultry, dairy farming, livestock, lumber and natural gas.

The town of Burnsville was incorporated in 1902 and named for Captain John Burns who operated the first sawmill in the area and established the town after the Civil War. The center of population for West Virginia is found near Gassaway, incorporated in 1905 and named in honor of Henry Gassaway Davis, a United States Senator and pioneer coal operator.

The geographical center of the state is found near Sutton, the county seat. The town was established as Suttonsville in 1826 and named for John D. Sutton, the founder, and incorporated in 1883.

Clay County
Formed from parts of Braxton, Kanawha and Nicholas Counties in 1858 and named in honor of Henry Clay, Kentucky statesman. The leading industrial and agricultural products in this county are coal, lumber, natural gas, petroleum, camper manufacturing, hay, grain, livestock and poultry. The Golden Delicious Apple originated on Porters Creek. The county seat of Clay was incorporated in 1895.

Gilmer County
Formed from parts of Lewis and Kanawha Counties in 1845, this area was named for Thomas Walker Gilmer, governor of Virginia, from 1840‑1841, and later a representative in Congress and Secretary of the Navy under President Tyler. The leading industrial and agricultural products are petroleum, natural gas, coal, lumber, hay, grain, livestock, poultry and dairy farming.

The county seat of Glenville, formerly known as Stewart's Creek and Hartford, was incorporated in 1871 and is home to the West Virginia State Folk Festival. This is where Mrs. Ellen King and H.A. Eagle composed the West Virginia state song "The West Virginia Hills."

Lewis County
Created from Harrison County in 1816 and named for Colonel Charles Lewis, famous soldier and leader among the Virginia Pioneers, who was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. The chief industrial and agricultural products in this area are glass, petroleum, natural gas, lumber, livestock, dairy farming, hay, grain and poultry.

The first Methodist Protestant Church in the United States was organized in 1829 at Old Harmony Church near Jane Lew by John Mitchell and David Smith. Jackson's Mill is the boyhood home of Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and is the location of the state-owned 4‑H conference center. Weston, the county seat, was originally founded in 1818 as Preston. The name was changed to Flesherville in 1819 and to Weston later that same year. The origin of the name of Weston is unknown. Home of what was once the state's oldest and largest mental institution, which opened in 1864; The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is also the largest hand‑cut stone building in the United States. Weston is also the home of Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendant's Genealogy Library.

Nicholas County
Formed in 1818 from parts of Kanawha, Greenbrier and Randolph Counties, this area was named for Wilson Cary Nicholas, governor of Virginia from 1814 to 1816. The leading industrial and agricultural products are lumber, shoe manufacturing, coal, potatoes, buckwheat, oats, livestock and poultry.

, the county seat, was incorporated in 1897 and named in honor of Judge Lewis Summers, who introduced the bill to create Nicholas County to the Virginia Assembly.

Summersville Lake is known for the excellent scuba diving and fishing available, and releases from Summersville Dam in the fall produce world‑class rafting on the Gauley River. Normally, dams are named after the nearest town; however, in this case, authorities thought it best to choose Summersville because the small town nearest the dam was Gad. 

Carnifex Ferry was the site of a battle in 1861 between Confederate General Floyd and Union General Rosencrans. The Union outnumbered the rebels 10 to one, but lost eight times as many men. Although Floyd finally withdrew, both sides claimed a victory.

Upshur County
Created in 1851 from Randolph, Barbour and Lewis Counties and named for Abel Parker Upshur, a distinguished statesman and jurist from Virginia. Leading agricultural and industrial products are livestock, dairy farming, strawberries, corn, lumber, coal, natural gas and clothing.

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center, located near French Creek, is part game preserve, part park and part research center, providing visitors a chance to see wildlife in a natural setting. 

is the county seat. Established in 1816, the area was not incorporated until 1933. The town was named by the first white settlers for Buck‑on‑go‑hanon, chief of the Delaware Indians during the Border War. This area was a favorite hunting ground for the Delaware.

Webster County
Formed from Nicholas, Braxton and Randolph Counties in 1880 and named in honor of Daniel Webster, New England orator and statesman. The chief industrial and agricultural products are lumber, coal, potatoes, buckwheat, oats, livestock, poultry and honey. 

Webster Springs is the county seat. The town is actually called Addison and the post office is named Webster Springs. The post office name is a combination of the county name and the various sulphur springs found in the area. The town was incorporated in 1892 and named for Addison McLaughlin, upon whose land the town was laid out.

Every Memorial Day weekend, this area hosts the Southeastern United States World Championship Woodchopping Contest during the Webster Springs Woodchopping Festival.