Charleston, WV Today we drove through mountains again to get from Elkins to Charleston – the capitol of West Virginia. We spent the day touring the capitol and nearby cultural museum. At a height of 292’ the West Virginia State Capitol is the tallest building in West Virginia and is 5’ higher than the Capitol Building in Washington DC. This was not the first one built. All the old capitol buildings burned down. One of them had been used as a storage area for ammo, black powder, and rifles. When the building caught on fire the powder exploded and the fire burned for three days, leveling the building. The current building was built in 1932 and does look pretty darn good. The setting is in a park-like area so it looks really nice. The building is made from 9 different types of marble. The Legislative desks are made of black walnut and are the original ones from 1932. There is a magnificent chandelier above the rotunda. The chandelier in the dome weighs 4,000 pounds and has the lighting power of 15,000 candles. The chandeliers in the House and Senate Chambers each have 10,000 pieces of rock crystal. After the capitol tour, we stopped at the West Virginia State Museum and Cultural Center. They have some nice exhibits. It was emphasized that the state came into existence because of the Civil War when the southern and eastern part of Virginia chose the Confederacy and the northern and western parts of Virginia elected to stay with the Union.