Where to live in West Virginia.

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Does any one have a good recommendation of the best area of West Virginia to move to? I would like to homestead there some time in the future. What are the positives & negatives of moving there? Any advice would be appreciated.

-- Brian Baumgardner (thebirdman67@hotmail.com), August 27, 2000


I always liked the area called Gaulley Bridge. Only because it was beautiful, good fishing and unpopulated. You share a last name with some famous wrestlers from Iowa. Any relation ?

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), August 27, 2000.

I like the area around Beckley springs and also Morgantown. nice country area and close to mountains which i love. I knew some Baumgardens in western NY.

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), August 27, 2000.

My mother was from West Virgina and we lived there for 18 months when I was a teenager. Some of the most beautiful country I ever lived in. But it was a foreign country for this western girl. It wasn't just the dialect either. I finally grew to understand the natives. Except for my French teacher who was German but had lived in West Virgina for 30 years. I couldn't understand him in 3 languages! The people there just thought differently. Not wrong, just different. I think that when considering a move, we should realize that different areas of the States may seem like different countries to us. I visited there 10 years ago. Still seemed strange to me and I have lived and visited alot of different states since then. I am really a westerner a guess. Lovely people though. Except for that majorette in band who kept 'accidentally' hitting the end of my horn and splitting my lip open. Ha Ha! I still have family there although I don't visit very often. Good luck. I know there is someone who posts here who often touts the beauty and congeniality of West Virgina. Look back in the old posts and maybe you can find their address.

-- Cheryl Cox (bramblecottage@hotmail.com), August 27, 2000.

Well, we live in WV. Is it beautiful? Yes, if you're in the mountains. We live in the panhandle and quite honestly, we can't wait to get out of here. The schools (at least in my area) are horrendous. We homeschool and the Board of Education is NOT friendly.

My "neighbors" have the old "WV ways". They DO have their own language. We've been here 5 yrs and I have yet to figure it out. Usually a sawed off shotgun, dead pets, or a house fire will evict somone they consider an outsider. The road that we live on is called Burn Alley by the locals. Let me just add a side note... if we'd have known what it was like here.. we'd have never moved here.

WV is the only state that has no religious exemption from shots. We choose, for personal reasons, not to get ALL of the childhood vaccs. But some of the most dangerous shots are required by law.

The state taxes everything from your dog to your tractor to your sheep...and how many hay bales you sold.

It takes the County Police 45 minutes to get here... although *I* can be at the detachment in 15 min. It takes the ambulance even longer, and we're only 8 miles from hospital. Don't ever get sick.

Maybe where you are looking to move is better than where we are. I sure hope so, because when we get these wretched credit cards paid off, we're OUTTA HERE!!

-- Misha (MishaaE@aol.com), August 28, 2000.

I'm curious as to which panhandle you live in Misha. I grew up in the Northern Panhandle and wouldn't choose to live there again. The steel mill has been losing money there for decades. But in some areas you have an easy 30 minute drive to Pittsburgh, PA and might be worth living rurally and commuting if you were so inclined.

Currently we live near Morgantown. This is a large (for WV) university town with lots of ethnic diversity. Many Asian, Indian, and Nigerian students and families here and south to Clarksburg. The local colleges, high-tech corridor, hospitals and FBI provide employment.

I love it here and have run into no roadblocks for anything I wanted to do, even my our 2 home businesses. And yes, our place is still referred to as the "old" owners, since we've 'only' been here 10 years.

-- Anne (HT@HM.com), August 28, 2000.

Hi Anne! Berkeley County, close to VA, MD, PA. I'm not saying that ALL parts of WV are this way... just in my area it seems so.

-- Misha (MishaaE@aol.com), August 28, 2000.

We live in Greenbrier County in the southeastern part of the state. I have lived here most of my life, except for college and a few periods of wanderlust. I am frequently told by associates that this is one of the most beautiful areas of the state. We have national forests (my place is completely surrounded by USFS property, forest service road), five star resort hotel, a stunning river valley, lots of tourism, a town which was named to National Geographic top 100 Small Towns in America. We also have a med school, college, the "other" Carnegie Hall.(yes, same folks as the one in NYC)Job market is good here. Unemployment runs around 4%. Have an airport and an interstatI64. Area is friendly to homesteaders, have a large homeschool network and public schools that consistently win national awards. Property prices and availabity cover every range. As far as this seeming like another country, to some people I'm certain it does. Yes, some of the people here may seem "backwards" but you have them too. We just put ours out in public to keep the weirdos away. Appalachia does have a culture of its own and the people take some time to know. I say that the area is friendly to homesteaders for a reason- alot of the people here live that lifestyle or grew up that way. We are a caring group of people that know how to mind our own bussiness. Sure, there are shortcomings like teenagers not having anything to do, but that isnt just a local "problem". Misha, sorry you have had such a bad experience. My daughter attends Shepherd College in Jefferson County, in the eastern panhandle. A wonderful small town on the Potomac River, 70 miles from metro Washington. I do realize that property costs are much higher in that area as it has become a bedroom community for DC. Life seems to be a slower, kinder pace here than any other place I've been. Brian- If you have any specific questions you may e-mail directly. Hope this has been of some use. Terri

-- Terri Perry (tperry@stargate.net), August 29, 2000.

Misha, maybe it helps that there is so much diversity near me. I like this north central area because we are only 2 hours from Pittsburgh (a very ethnic area that has all the benefits of a big city with a friendly feel) and 4 hours from DC. I've actually driven there for the day.

-- Anne (HT@HM.com), August 29, 2000.

Misha, I just have to ask. Do you live in Tomahawk near Hedgesville? I live in Hampshire Co. and I thjnk this is one of the best places in the state. Land is still reasonable, mostly real nice people and 4pages of help wanted ads in last nites paper.

-- nitewalker (gandd@intrepid.net), August 31, 2000.

I too grew up in W.Va. in the eastern panhandle, Hardy County to be exact. Although I now live in VA, it's just 15 miles from where I was born and raised, so this area is home. Berkeley County is probably not the best choice in this area for the homesteading lifestyle as it is just being paved over as a bedroom community for D.C. But other areas, such as Hardy County are still rural, but within a reasonable drive to plenty of ammenities. I have 4 colleges and universities within a half hour from here, and about 40 minutes from Hardy county areas. Misha, as a native, let me say West Virginians have a natural distrust for "people from away from here" and you can live here 40 years and still be from away from here. Goes back to the rape and pillage of the coal barons and timbermen and will never change. Especially with regard to people coming in and telling us about all the things we do wrong. However, folks who seek the country lifestyle and accept their neighbors without looking down on them or assuming we are all illiterate hillbillies packing firepower shouldn't have much problem fitting in. I am a Shepherd College alumni who has lived in the Baltimore and D.C. area and I came back home to follow my lifestyle and raise my family. I've probably gritted my teeth through more W.Va. jokes than you can count, but I have also seen many good honest folks move here and be happy. Homeschooling here is widespread and accepted. Most lifestyles are not scrutinized too much, and like minded people seem to find each other. Try looking into Hampshire, Hardy, and Pendleton Counties for nice, not too mountainous areas. Oh, and my mother-in- law is from Lewisburg, south of here. That area is beautiful too!

-- Denyelle Stroup (dedestroup@hotmail.com), August 31, 2000.

I am WV made. I was born and raised in Southern WV. I like many generations of my family have lived here all my life and hope that I never have to live anywhere else. I have been away for 5 days and have been so homesick, could not wait to get home to my WV hills. I live in Putnam County (right between the two biggest counties of Kanawha and Cabell.) We live on 13 beautiful and peaceful acres about 10 minutes from town and Interstate 64. Putnam county is the fastest growing county in WV and we have people being transfered in here from all over the world. We have the best of both lifes city and country. We have all of the arts from dancing and painting right beside people who are spinning and weaving etc. The job situation here is ok for people who want to work. We homeschool our children because of personal choice. We have at least 5 major homeschooling organizations in our area. The public school board is accomadating homeschoolers. I had a brother that attended Shephard College and absolutely loved it there!! My other brother lives in FL and is so homesick for WV:( I would be glad to answer any questions on WV and help any way that I can.

-- Lisa (wv2xmommy@aol.com), August 31, 2000.

Like I said before, it is probably just my area that is undersireable (at least to us!). Berkeley county is growing by leaps and bounds and there are new subdivisions everywhere. Personally, I'd rather be out in the woods and have peace and quiet. But it's all a learning process right! Live and learn and leave if you don't like it. Didn't mean to cause such a stir. I don't have anything personal against this particular state, just the area in general that we're in.

-- Misha (MishaaE@aol.com), August 31, 2000.

Lisa, where in Putnam county? I lived in Hurricane and graduated from Hurrican High. My people are the Ellis and Litton (sometimes spelled Lytton) families. I began my college career at Marshall University. I still have lots of family there.

-- Cheryl Cox (bramblecottage@hotmail.com), September 01, 2000.

I would like to thank everyone who responded. THANK YOU ALL Brian

-- (thebirdman67@hotmail.com), September 02, 2000.

The best place to live in WVa is in a trailer park. I am currently living a nice sized development. My trailer is about 50 yrs old, but ma said that we are gettin' a new one as soon as pa gets enough money from sellin' his squirrel furs. I love West Virginia. There ain't nothin' like it, except maybe Virginia.

-- Patrick Fowler (Patrick.Fowler@lincoln.electric), November 22, 2000.

we just moved from WVA. there are nice areas and some not so nice areas. the best way would be to rent in a place that appealed to you. if you like mountains, or a flat area. near conviences or in seclusion, in WVA you will find varied areas that offer what you are looking for. make a list, then post what you are looking for.as soon as we know your requirements someone will address a area thatshould come close.

-- lexi green (whitestone11@hotmail.com), November 26, 2000.

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