Charleston, West Virginia

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Charleston is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of West Virginia. It is located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in Kanawha County. As of the 2000 census, it has a population of 53,421, with its urban area having a population of 212,991, and its metropolitan area 309,635. However, the 2008 Census Estimate has Charleston with a population of 50,302,[3] and a 2008 estimated metro area population of 303,944. It is the county seat of Kanawha County.

Early industry important to Charleston included salt and the first natural gas well.[4] Later, coal became central to economic prosperity in the city and the surrounding area. Today, trade, utilities, government, medicine and education play the central role in the city's economy.

The first permanent settlement, Ft. Lee, was built in 1788. In 1791, Daniel Boone was a member of the Kanawha County Assembly.

Charleston is the home of the West Virginia Power (formerly the Charleston Alley Cats) minor league baseball team, the West Virginia Wild minor league basketball team, and the annual 15-mile (24 km) Charleston Distance Run. Yeager Airport and the University of Charleston are also located in the city.

Charleston is also home to the 130th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard.

The city also contains public parks, such as Cato Park and Coonskin Park, and the Kanawha State Forest, a large public state park that sustains a pool, camping sites, several biking/walking trails, picnic areas, as well as several shelters provided for recreational use.


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