West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling

4.5
The birthplace for the state of West Virginia, West Virginia Independence Hall is now a museum dedicated to the history of statehood and the Civil War.

Construction began in September 1856, and the building opened in April 1859. The three-story structure was built to be the federal Custom House for the Western District of Virginia. The building also housed the post office and federal district court.

On June 13, 1861 the Second Wheeling Convention began and declared the Confederate state government in Richmond illegal, and so created a Reorganized Government of Virginia loyal to the United States, elected Francis Harrison Pierpont, governor of Virginia, and called for the western counties to be formed into a new state.

The legislature of the Reorganized Government met in the court room on the third floor from July 1861 to June 1863, and the constitutional convention for the new state met there in late 1861 through early 1862. Governor Pierpont and other state officials used offices on the second floor of the Custom House from June 1861 through early 1864. Thus, the Wheeling Custom House served as the capitol building for Reorganized Virginia, although it was never the capitol of West Virginia.

In 1970, the National Parks Service placed Independence Hall on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1979, West Virginia Independence Hall was opened as a museum, administered by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

And in 1988, the birthplace of West Virginia, Independence Hall, gained recognition as a National Historic Landmark.

Visit this webpage by the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation for more information:

http://www.wvindependencehallfoundation.org/wvihf/
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West Virginia Independence Hall Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
49 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Good overview of West Virginia early history, and a well-done restoration of a piece of history. And even though a downtown location, it has parking available for visitors.  more »
  • This was a great museum to visit during our day out in Wheeling. We learned quite a bit about West Virginia, the Civil War and local culture during our visit. The court house on the top floor has a fa...  more »
  • Really cool museum that we unfortunately only had time for a quick walk thru, but know we will be back. Just walking around the perimeter of the building looking at the architecture was interesting by...  more »
Google
  • Very polite staff and wonderful displays of history. Especially liked the Civil War regimental flags.
  • I visited with a car club and enjoyed learning the history of West Virginia--how it came to be and the steps of creating a new state. There are also interesting displays of civil war era battle flags and period furnishings and artifacts.
  • A nice little trip through history. I knew that WV separated from VA during the Civil War, but not the story of how that happen. Two hours were a good amount of time to see the exhibits and enjoy the beauty of the restored building.
  • Very informative place, if you have time to kill go check it out. Free and the staff was very nice and helpful.
  • Great way to learn and understand the history of Wheeling
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