We drove to Milton on the 18th and camped there for 3 days.
We took a day trip into nearby Charleston, the capital and largest city in the state, with a population of around 50,000. It is located on the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk rivers. Unlike most cities, there are beautiful homes right at the river’s edge in town. Of course, there were beautiful places around the capitol building too.
The capitol building is one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen. It is built of buff limestone on the outside, with the interior being mostly marble. It took about 8 years to complete. It has a 293 foot gold dome, which is 5 feet higher than the U.S. Capitol. The gold is 23 ½ karat gold leaf applied over copper and lead.
One of the most impressive sights was the 4,000 pound chandelier made of Czechoslovakian crystal hanging on a 54 foot bronze and brass chain from the peak of the rotunda dome. It is suspended 180 feet from the floor, is eight feet in diameter, and has 96 light bulbs.
The Lower House (House of Delegates) chamber is at the east end and the Upper House (Senate) is at the west end. To show the ranking of the lawmaking bodies, the Upper House has a domed ceiling while the Lower House has a flat ceiling.
The eagles in the Senate have spread wings, while the eagles in the House have closed wings.
Identical 1,500 pound crystal chandeliers are in both chambers. Each contains about 3,000 pieces of glass beading and 10,000 pieces of crystal.
Both chambers have a hand carved black walnut desk for each senator and delegate.
Above the dais is each chamber is a hand carved cherry replica of the Great Seal of West Virginia. The Latin state’s motto is “Montani Semper Liberi”, which translates to “Mountaineers Are Always Free”.
Throughout the capitol were beautiful lights, lamps, etc. made from different types of marble. It was certainly an impressive building.
Mary & Bentley resting in Senate Chamber
Charleston was once home to Daniel Boone, who served in the Virginia House of Delegates.
After visiting the capitol, we drove thru the downtown area.
While in Milton, we visited the Blenko Glass Company. The company began in 1892 and moved to Milton in 1929. It offers a visitor center, museum, and free factory tour. We watched skilled artisans crafting molten liquid glass into pretty vases.
They also make handmade flat glass for architectural purposes and cathedrals.
They were decorated for fall, including a colorful addition outside.