One Tank Trip: West Virginia State Museum

Charleston, WV (WOAY) – This week’s One Tank Trip brings us to the West Virginia State Museum at the Capitol Complex in Charleston.

The State Museum was founded in 1894 and has always been in close proximity to the Capitol. It operated for several years until moving to the State Culture Center in 1976, and then later on was fully remodeled in 2009 into what it is today. 

It serves as a walk through time of the entirety of West Virginia History. It features 26 discovery rooms, each with a different portion of local history.

According to the Director of Museums for the Department of Arts, Culture and History Charles Morris, the museum features dozens of hours of learning. 

“If you go through and look and read everything, it actually takes 27-and-a-half hours,” Morris said.

As you enter the museum you’re thrown into the prehistoric age where you learn how the environment of West Virginia shaped the path of history.

“It starts in the early Devonian period. And then you go through decade by decade. The floors change, you get new time periods and what is happening at the time.”

The State Museum gets an average of 100,000 visitors per year. Many come from out of state and even other countries to see the rich history of West Virginia. 

“I’m told so often that we have the best museum in the country and that when you go through our museum, you understand what the state of West Virginia is all about.”

Coming up soon at the State Museum is the Congressional Art Competition, which will feature artwork from high school students across the state.

Admission to the West Virginia State Museum is free.

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