… the Shenandoah Valley in the extreme Eastern Panhandle, roughly one-sixth of the state lies within this province (West pg). To the west, and including five-sixths of the state, is the Appalachian Plateau. The rugged mountains of the Allegheny Front, the principal drainage divide, form the northern boundary. The Front separates rivers draining into the Ohio River and its tributaries from those draining across the Eastern Seaboard to Chesapeake Bay. Then to the east, rivers for a trellis pattern, bending across ridges into adjoining valley lowlands, and to the west, the rivers form a dendritic system. The Ohio River runs the entire length along the western border (West pg).
Charleston is the largest city located at the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk rivers and is the center of a highly industrialized region. Parkersburg, on the Ohio, developed during the oil boom of the late 19th century. Wheeling is the center of iron and steel manufacturing. Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg are shipping centers for coal, while Beckley and Bluefield are centers of southern coalfields.
The pioneer stock, Scots-Irish, German and English lived in isolated mountainous sections, cut off from
surrounding regions, thus many have retained customs and speech …