The area was a favorite hunting ground of numerous Native American peoples before the arrival of European settlers. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various mound builder cultures survive, especially in the areas of Moundsville, South Charleston, and Romney. Although little is known about these peoples, the artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of a complex, stratified culture that practiced metallurgy.
In more recent history the area now occupied by West Virginia was contested territory, mainly by Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, and later the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, but failed. With the settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute which resulted in the creation of Kentucky, Kentuckians "were satisfied [...], and the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful."
The state was originally part of the British Virginia Colony (from 1607 to 1776) and the western part of the state of Virginia (from 1776 to 1863), whose population became sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union and in the separation from Virginia, formalized by admittance to the Union as a new state in 1863.
West Virginia's history has been profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain, numerous and vast river valleys, and rich natural resources. These were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of residents, and remain so today.
While states around West Virginia plunged into chaos when the president was killed the State Government stayed in the Union as long as it could until 1938 on May 6th. While city-states were being formed, counties in the Appalachia's began to join West Virginia looking for order.
West Virginia is the largest producer of coal in America its largest city Charleston has become a boom town. It is currently friendly with Virginia.