Monroe County, located in the southeastern part of West Virginia, is rich in history and culture. Here are seven interesting facts about Monroe County worth knowing:
1. Named after James Monroe
Monroe County is named after James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. The county was formed in 1799 and was among the first group of counties that the Virginia legislature created after the American Revolution.
2. The Underground Railroad
Monroe County played a crucial role in the Underground Railroad, a secret network of routes and safe houses used to help enslaved African Americans escape to freedom. Many abolitionists in Monroe County helped to provide food, clothing, and shelter to runaway slaves.
3. West Virginia's Last Battle of the Civil War
On May 9, 1865, Union and Confederate forces clashed in Monroe County in what is known as West Virginia's Last Battle of the Civil War. The fighting erupted when Confederate troops refused to surrender after General Robert E. Lee's surrender in April. The Union troops won, and this marked the end of the Civil War in West Virginia.
4. Rich in Natural Resources
Monroe County is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including timber, coal, and natural gas. The rich natural assets of the county have been a significant contributor to the local economy throughout history.
5. One of The First Fairs in The United States
The Union Agricultural Society in Peterstown hosted one of the first fairs in the United States in 1854. The fair showcased agricultural products, home goods, and livestock. Although the fair was only held for a few years, it played an essential role in promoting the agriculture industry in Monroe County.
6. Home to Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, is a revered figure in the Catholic Church. He is said to have been born in Monroe County in 1118. While there is no concrete proof of his birthplace, many Monroe County residents believe it to be true.
7. The Naming of Union
The town of Union was established in 1799 as the county seat of Monroe County. The town got its name from the union of the counties of Greenbrier and Kanawha, from which Monroe County was formed.
In conclusion, Monroe County's rich history and culture are fascinating and worth exploring. From the Underground Railroad to the Last Battle of the Civil War, Monroe County has played a significant role in shaping the history of West Virginia and the United States.
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